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Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.
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Save 1-800-Suicide

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. Updated: Jul 29th 2006

Help Save 1.800.SUICIDEthe 1-800-SUICIDE helpline is in danger of shuting down for lack of funding. Helpline founder Reese Butler had previously been awarded a federal grant to help run his resource, but seems to have lost that funding source in 2004 or 2005. He claims that he has incurred over $266,000 USD of debt and was depending on federal funds previously allocated to his resource to pay them down. Without that money, he will have to shut down. The federal government started funding its own suicide hotline, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline in 2005. Butler's contention is that his own non-profit hotline is superior to what the goverment might do itself becuase he is able to offer callers true confidentiality. It's hard to evaluate whether this claim is true or not, or how much confidentiality the Lifeline can offer, but one thing does seem odd about the current situation. The present administration is generally privatization-happy. They never saw a government resource they didn't want to get rid of and hire an outside contractor to fulfill. It is odd that a well run and well functioning resource like 1-800-SUICIDE would not qualify as a better alternative than any government run resource.

Bottom line is that Butler is having trouble paying the bills on his 1-800-SUICIDE hotline and therefore the hotline is in danger of going out of business, starved as it is for cash. So - donations are needed urgently. It isn't necessarily a bad thing that there are two hotlines available, but it would definitely be an ugly thing if the 1-800-SUICDE hotline were to go out of business

Butler asks for your help on his website


  1. Tell the Government to keep their commitment to 1-800-SUICIDE and send the $266,000 that was already allocated.


  2. Help Fund 1.800.SUICIDE.
    We need to raise $266,000 for our bills with AT&T to keep the Suicide Prevention Hotline running privately. Once we pay off AT&T for our old phone agreement We have to pay roughly $30,000 per month for the next 6 months in order to come out of debt.


  3. Keep Suicide Prevention Private and Confidential Petition.
    Our Government should not duplicate the efforts of the Hopeline – but help with training of social works, education and awareness of the issues of mental health.


  4. E-mail your friends.
Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. was Director of Mental Help Net from 1999 to 2011. Presently, he is an Oakland Psychologist (Lic#PSY25695) in private practice offering evidence-based acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and addressing a range of life problems. Contact Dr. Dombeck by calling 510-900-5123, send Dr. Dombeck email or visit Dr. Dombeck's practice website for more information.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

F*ck the judicical system - Carole - Jul 5th 2009

someone needs to step up and make our legal system legit.  The hell that they have put me thru just makes me want to die rather that go on.  I was lied to...used...raped....the "raped" by the system....beaten...abused....put in jail  and made to  pay money I knew nothing about and no one will help me.  ended up losing my job...what have i got left???....would rather be dead

1-800 273TALK - - Aug 16th 2006
Both hotlines are answered by the same certified crisis hotlines, the same counselors who hold caller confidentiality in high regard. 1-800-273TALK is 24/7, stable, reliable, and professional and dedicated to our collective responsibility to prevent suicide.

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