- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 12, 2020

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming is no longer the only state without its own suicide prevention call center.

The Central Wyoming Counseling Center launched the state’s first and only service Tuesday, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

Wyoming has one of the highest suicide rates in the U.S.

Wyoming residents previously were able to call national hotlines but those answering don’t have important knowledge about the state, counseling center CEO Kevin Hazucha said.

Hazucha and Bernice Hazucha came to Wyoming from New York in 2018 and spent a year meeting with various officials on starting a suicide call line. Wyoming eventually issued a request for proposals and the Central Wyoming Counseling Center responded.

Wyoming has allocated $400,000 for the hotline for two years.

The suicide hotline will be staffed 40 hours a week but organizers hope to expand that to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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