INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - It is important to have a healthy mind as well as a healthy body.
As WISH-TV has continued its Gr8 Health campaign , there have been many stories about the body. But one organization had an idea to address the mind. The idea comes from a group that operates under the premise that there is no health without mental health.
Said simply: one of Central Indiana's most important phone numbers needs help.
Mental Health America of Greater Indianapolis says demand is consistently increasing for its Crisis and Suicide Intervention Hotline (251-7575), so the program needs many more volunteers.
As volunteer work goes, it's an intriguing opportunity - you can do it from anywhere that you are comfortable.
For Amy Smith, that means a three hour shift at home, where she can tend the garden, enjoy the weather and quite possibly save a life.
"I think for me there's a sense of satisfaction in that you're helping them in the moment get to that next stepping point," Smith said.
For seven years, Smith has worked shifts once or twice a week, taking calls of the most dire kind. Mental Health America forwards them directly to her.
"The clients do not have your phone number," she says. "So you can take calls anywhere that's a private place. That may be your home or your office. Anywhere you can have some quiet and privacy, you can be answering phone calls."
Organizers say suicide is a growing problem - especially among young veterans.
"Many people don't realize that we've lost more veterans or service members to suicide than we have through serving in the military and being killed in action," says MHA's Mike Dunn.
To those who may be intrigued by the opportunity but intimidated by the responsibility of taking such important calls, Dunn says you need no special skills but will get extensive training and support before handling calls where life may truly be in the balance.
"Our number one rule when people say "What do I have to do, what do I have to know? I could never do that!" is that as long as you care, we can teach you the rest," Dunn says.
"For me there is a satisfaction and fulfillment in that I've made a difference to somebody," says Smith. "I'll never meet them, but hopefully made the difference to them, in that moment, to help them get to the next step."
If you are in crisis and need the support the hotline provides, call 251-7575. You can also text "CSIS" to 839863.
If you have an interest in helping, call 251-0005 ext. 1010 and ask for Mike. Click here for more information.
A winter storm warning is in effect for most of Central Indiana.
It's very rare that a single person can reach across national, racial, and spiritual borders to bring such hope and healing.
Dispatchers with Indiana State Police say a vehicle left the roadway Thursday night off of Interstate 69.