Suicide Hotlines Jammed As Usual Performers Return for PBS Pledge Drive

Inevitable re-appearance is breaking point for many.

photo credit: IrelandHall

s PBS launches yet another pledge drive with its usual roster of musical entertainment, suicide hotlines around the U.S. once again report being overwhelmed with crisis calls.

The two pledge-drive acts driving the most traffic to suicide hotlines are, as always, crooner Daniel O'Donnell and the female quartet known as Celtic Woman.

Supervisors for crisis hotlines are asking volunteers to consider longer hours during all PBS Pledge drives to, as one supervisor for the Midwest region said, "keep our lines covered at a time we know will try the souls of already depressed callers."

Phone lines invariably ring off the hook when either O'Donnell or Celtic Woman take the stage. One lead counselor spoke for many when he described the most common types of calls his volunteers receive during these performances.

"What we hear most is that sense of not being able to imagine a brighter future when Daniel O'Donnell starts singing," said the counselor. "And it's difficult for us to encourage these callers when we know it will all start up again on PBS in a few months."

Another very common cry for help "is the desperation people feel at knowing they can't change the title of the group from 'Celtic Woman' to 'Celtic Women,' even though there are four of them," said the counselor.

"We tell our callers that there are some things in life we simply will never be able to explain. But we try to give them hope by reminding them that there are peaceful times in between PBS pledge drives, when Daniel O'Donnell and Celtic 'Woman' can only be found performing in casinos and shopping malls."

The crisis counselor added that much of his advice "boils down to a couple of coping mechanisms" for callers who are considering suicide rather than living in a world where Daniel O'Donnell and Celtic Woman are allowed on the air every two to three months.

"I would say: remember your stomach breathing for true relaxation. And also remember your visualizations. One of my favorites is Daniel O'Donnell and Celtic Woman turning into five little field mice, who are then carried away by a mother eagle to feed her young."