BEND, Ore. – A national crisis line for older adults, called the Friendship Line, will become more available in the Central Oregon area.
The hotline has existed for 45 years, but the Central Oregon Health Council partnered with its founder, Dr. Patrick Arbore, to bring increased services to this area.
It is a 24-hour call line, available 365 days a year. The council has made an agreement with the nonprofit to serve Central Oregon with outreach calls to isolated or depressed adults.
Anyone who is over 60 years old or is a physically disabled adult can use the line at any time.
The program was founded in 1973 as a resource for older adults who are struggling with loneliness, anxiety or thoughts of suicide.
“Older people have one of the highest rates of suicide of other populations, and we really wanted to drill down to see what is that about, what is the factor that promotes people to think about suicide,” Arbore said Monday. “One of several, but one we can really address is loneliness (and) isolation. What older people often say is, ‘I cannot believe this is happening to me.'”
Local health care providers will now be able to offer the Friendship Line directly to older patients who are struggling with isolation or depression.