By David Madden

By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – New Jersey’s new statewide hotline to aid those contemplating suicide got a lot of work in its first week on line.

State officials decided it was time to establish their own service, rather than just be part of a national network. So New Jersey’s Department of Human Services spent almost $650,000 to contract with University Behavioral HealthCare for professional counselors to man the new hotline 24/7.

(Lynn Kovich Credit: David Madden)

(Lynn Kovich Credit: David Madden)

Lynn Kovich, assistant commissioner in the Division of Mental Health, says the service went live May 1st and in just week one “they had already answered 299 calls. 5 of those were from people who were suicidal.”

Most just feel the need to talk or get advice.

And now New Jersey backs up that national network, instead of the other way around.

The number to the new hotline is 855-654-6735.

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