Crisis Line Calls Spike Post-Election


Dahlia Bray, Staff Writer

Hours after Donald Trump was announced President-elect, there was a significant spike in calls and texts screened by suicide and crisis helplines. According to CNN, helplines such as Crisis Text Line, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Trevor Project screened calls doubling and tripling their normal influx of calls.

The Trevor Project, a crisis line for LGBT youth, reported that 95% of callers wanted to talk about the election.

According to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s project manager John Draper, the organization has not fielded that many calls since the 9/11 terrorist attacks or Robin William’s suicide. In a November 2016 interview with CNN, Draper discussed that these calls were inspired by the election, but contained underlying personal issues at hand.

“They call and say it’s the election,” Draper said. “But by the end of the call, it’s about their lives, and that’s when we can help them.”

Senior Amber McGee believes many people are afraid of the country’s future instead of being optimistic about what is to come.

“I think some people are just really afraid of what’s going to happen to the country post-election,” McGee said. “They feel that maybe the world is just going to crumble instead of actually accepting change.”

In an interview with CNN, Donald Trump expressed his views on marriage equality in America.

“I’m for traditional marriage,” Trump said. “I am a busy man and have been married three times. But I was raised traditionally and will always be for traditional marriage.”

Sophomore Naomi Brady disagrees with President-elect Donald Trump’s stance toward the LGBT community.

“Our President-elect Donald Trump opposes nationwide marriage equality,” Brady said. “This alone creates an oppressive environment for the LGBT community and divides groups contradicting his claims of wanting to unify the country.”

Similar to other helplines, Crisis Textline received about 7,000 texts from Monday, Nov. 7 to Thursday, Nov. 10, numbers they had not received since the San Bernardino and Paris terrorist attacks in 2015.

On election night, spokeswoman for Crisis Textline, Liz Eddy, reported to CNN that she was shocked by the massive influx of texts received.

“Twenty-four hours after the election, the top two words in our received messages were ‘scared’ and ‘election,’” Eddy said. “The word that followed scared the most was ‘LGBT.’”

Senior Sidney Shipe is fearful for both the LGBT community and people who suffer from mental illness.

“As someone who suffers from severe mental illness and has multiple friends in the LGBT community, I feel targeted,” Shipe said. “I feel that our safety and productivity has the potential to be severely compromised, and I can only hope that won’t happen.”

Trans Lifeline, a helpline for transgender youth, filtered the most calls in its history. The helpline received around 450 calls in the first 24 hours post-election.

Freshman Matthew Tribble is ashamed of the state of his country, and wishes to see unity instead of division.

“I believe there are safe places [for minorities], but the environment surrounding us is not one,” Tribble said. “The hate in the U.S. is only increasing, and those willing to step in and stop it will be hated as well. I believe we can meet in the middle and become united, like the title of our own country.”