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Health department sets up 24-hour suicide hotline

Dept. of Health logo

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Health Department, through its Facebook page, announced Wednesday its 24-hour suicide hotline. “YOU ARE LOVED and YOU ARE NOT ALONE,” declared DoH message on its posting.

“If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact our Behavioral Health professionals by calling our 24-hour suicide prevention hotline at 252-3502 or 770-1571,” said DoH. “Your call will be confidential, we will spend time listening and talking with you, we are here for you!”

While the Department of Human and Social Service also has a similar hotline, it doesn’t operate 24-hours.

In Monday’s Samoa News edition is a letter to the editor titled, “Suicide: The silent cry of our island”, penned by Pae Tuiasosopo.

Meanwhile, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), which is funded by a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, operates a 24-hour hotline - 1-800-273- TALK (8255) - which also receives calls from American Samoa.

SPRC’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and American Samoa report released this year, covering the period of July to December 2019, shows that there were seven callers from American Samoa to the Lifeline. Of the 7 callers, zero-percent were able to receive help in American Samoa, where “there are zero crisis centers which are members of the Lifeline.”

Identical information was also in the SPRC’s report covering the same period — the last six months of 2018, in which there were nine callers from American Samoa. Information and details on the reports on SPRC website (