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Tom MurphyJun 12, 2018, 7:17 pmJun 13, 2018, 4:06 pm

NJ experiences spike in calls to suicide helplines

The number of calls to the state's suicide helpline have tripled in the last two weeks

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PISCATAWAY — New Jersey has some of the lowest suicide rates in the nation, but in the last two weeks the Mental Health Association of New Jersey's suicide helpline has tripled.

With the suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain dominating recent headlines, officials with the Mental Health Association say the calls are largely people looking to make a connection.

"There's been a huge media outreach since the two publicized suicides," said Joanne McCarthy, director of Call Center Services with the Mental Health Association of New Jersey. "So, what we're seeing is people are getting the number and they're realizing there is a place to call and connect with someone and a lot of the calls are just that."

The center usually receives about 30 calls a week, but is now answering close to 100.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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