September is National Suicide Prevention Month

Author: Janeane Krongos
Each year, the month of September is observed as National Suicide Prevention Month. This month-long observance is the perfect opportunity for community members to learn about suicide prevention, attend suicide prevention trainings, and to support local suicide prevention efforts.

Throughout this month-long observance, local health service partners will be participating. One health partner who will be participating is the Tillamook Family Counseling Center (TFCC). This month, TFCC will provide two Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper trainings (suicide prevention training), distribute suicide prevention information, promote suicide prevention resources on social media, and submit a proclamation request to the Board of County Commissioners. If you would like to learn more about these efforts, please feel free to contact me at Janeanek@tfcc.org.

What is suicide?: Suicide can be described as an intentional death caused by self-harm. This cause of death is complex and is typically a result of multiple factors. This is one public health concern that can effect individuals of all ages, including the youth population. If you are interested in learning more about suicide as a public health concern, I would recommend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s online resource titled Suicide Prevention Fast Facts (https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/facts/index.html).
Suicide Risk factors: Risk factors are attributes, conditions, or actions that can increase the risk of suicide. Common suicide risk factors include: relationship strain, financial hardships, substance use, problem gambling, mental illnesses, chronic health ailments, historical trauma, and financial issues.

Protective Factors: Protective factors are attributes, conditions, or actions that can help to reduce suicide risk. Common suicide protective factors include: friends and family who can provide emotional support, maintaining good physical health, access to mental health care services, access to health care services, community involvement, religious affiliation, and coping strategies.

Common Warning Signs:
• Talking about wanting to die by suicide
• Increase of use of drugs or alcohol
• Increase of gambling
• Increase of risky behaviors
• Giving away prized objects
• Changes is sleep (sleeping too much or too little)
• Extreme mood swings
• Withdrawing from others
• Saying untimely goodbyes

Local Behavioral Health Services: Behavioral health providers can assess suicide risk levels, provide counseling, recommend/provide appropriate treatment, and intervention as needed. Consider the providers in Tillamook County and discuss options with your primary health care provider. One you may also consider is Tillamook Family Counseling Center (TFCC), and TFCC can be reached by calling: (503)842-8201. To learn more about the services offered at TFCC visit www.tfcc.org. For many of you, the perspective of a pastor, minister, or other faith leader can be very supportive.

Crisis Services: If you prefer speaking to someone remotely, a crisis service hotline is a great way to initiate help. Crisis services are available in different forms, examples include telephone, text, and chat services. These services are free, confidential, and available anytime. Crisis service staff and volunteers can answer questions, provide emotional support, and can help callers connect to local mental health treatment providers.

Tillamook County 24/7 Crisis Line: The Tillamook County has a crisis hotline can be accessed 24/7. This hotline is staffed by behavioral health staff who are employed by TFCC. To reach the Tillamook County 24/7 crisis line call (503)842-8201 or (800)962-2851.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a crisis hotline that can be accessed 24/7. This hotline can be reached by calling (800)273-8255. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also has a chat feature that can be accessed by visiting www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: The Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio is a national crisis line that can be accessed 24/7.This crisis line has crisis staff who assist the callers using the Spanish language. This service is available 24/7, this crisis hotline can be reached by calling (888)628-9454.

Veterans Crisis Line: The Veterans Crisis Line is a national crisis line that can be accessed 24/7. This crisis hotline can be reached by calling 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1. The Veterans Crisis Line also has a crisis chat feature that can be accessed by visiting www.veteranscrisisline.net.

Trevor Project: The Trevor project is an organization that provides suicide prevention resources to LGBTQ youth. This organization is a safe and judgment free place to seek help. The Trevor project offers a variety of ways to connect with counselors, examples include phone, chat, and by text. The Trevor project can be reached by calling (866)488-7386 or by visiting www.thetrevorproject.org.

Crisis Text Line: The Crisis Text line can provide support and assist with crisis interventions. This text line is a 24/7 service. To contact the Crisis Text Line text HOME to 741741.

View this column at: https://www.tillamookheadlightherald.com/opinion/guest-column-september-is-national-suicide-prevention-month/article_2c5729ce-09dd-11ec-b364-a391cdd0bd07.html

September 15, 2021

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