The first local suicide prevention hotline in the Cowboy State will open in Casper this week

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon will be on hand for Tuesday's 11 a.m. ceremonies at Central Wyoming Counseling Center.

According to a Monday news release, the CWCC Suicide Prevention Lifeline will put connect callers in Wyoming who are facing suicide and other mental health crises with relevant, local sources.

"Although Wyoming annually faces devastating suicide rates, we've been behind the rest of the country in providing a local call center resource," the news relief says.

Suicide was the seventh-leading cause of death in Wyoming in 2017, according to the CDC. 2017 is the most recent year available from the CDC for those statistics.

For every 100,000 Wyoming residents, roughly 25 took their own lives in 2018, the CDC says. At the time, that was the highest rate in the nation.

CWCC Suicide Prevention Lifeline Director Bernice Hazucha said Wyoming had the highest suicide rate per capita. Wyoming also was the only state not to have its own suicide hotline.

“By having this resource here, we’re going to be able to relate to our callers better, and we’ll be better equipped to connect them to the resources they need to successfully get through whatever trauma they’re facing,” Hazucha said.

The lifeline will not have 24/7 staffing as it gets off the ground, but that is the future goal. In the interim, callers can use the 307-776-0610 phone number any time during the CWCC's suicide prevention lifeline hours.

Tuesday's private ceremony will mark the call center's official opening and the center will be open to callers beginning at 4 p.m.

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