September is Suicide Prevention Month

Author: Janeane Krongos
The month of September is known as suicide prevention month. Throughout this month-long observance, health professionals, community partners, and community members come together to share suicide prevention information, support local suicide prevention efforts, support mental health treatment, and promote good mental health.

Each year, lives are lost due to suicide. In Oregon, suicide is the 9th leading cause of death among Oregonians. Each death by suicide is complex and is typically the result of many factors in a person’s life. Common risk factors include barriers to health care, loss of relationship, substance use disorder, problem gambling disorder, financial trouble, family history of suicide, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). A person can lower their risk by increasing protective factors. Common protective factors include access to basic needs, access to health care, mental health supports, problem solving skills, coping skills, and connectedness (family, friends, and community).

This year, Tillamook Family Counseling Center (TFCC) will be participating in this observance. This month, TFCC will disseminate suicide prevention information, submit a resolution request to the Board of County Commissioners, and provide a free virtual suicide prevention training. This year, I encourage community members to consider participating in this observance. Continue reading, to get ideas on how you can participate.

Program crisis supports in your phone. Five to consider: Tillamook County Crisis Hotline (503-842-8201), 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (988) (Veterans press 1), Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio(En Español) (888-628-9454), Crisis Text Line (Text HOME to 741741), and Trevor’s Project(LGBTQ Youth) (866-488-7386).
Share suicide prevention information on social media throughout Suicide Prevention Week (9/4/22-9/10/22). One local Facebook page that regularly shares suicide prevention resources is SOS Tillamook, the prevention program at TFCC.
Observe World Suicide Prevention Day (9/10/22), by attending Tillamook County Suicide Prevention Coalition’s rock-painting event. The coalition will hold a family friendly rock-painting event at the Bay City Arts Center (BCAC) on September 10th from 10AM-2PM.People who attend the event will be able to paint rocks with messages of hope and have the opportunity to take home suicide prevention information. To learn more, email Janeanek@tfcc.org.
Attend a free Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper training. This training is an evidence based suicide prevention training. The next QPR training will be offered virtually, on September 9th from 10 to 11:30 am. To learn more call (503)842-8201 or email Janeanek@tfcc.org.
Learn common suicide warning signs. Warning signs include: talking about wanting to die, extreme mood changes, changes in sleep, withdrawal from others, changes in the way they talk about their future, giving away prized possessions, and searching for means. If someone you know exhibits suicide warning signs, it would be beneficial to have a conversation with them about suicide and to share information about crisis supports.
Review online resources to learn about suicide prevention. Two online websites that that I recommend are the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (www. afsp.org) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov).
Review Impacts of Problem Gambling on Public Health, to learn about suicidal, self-harm, and problem gambling. This digital publication is located at www.oregon.gov. To learn more about problem gambling prevention and treatment services visit Oregon Problem Gambling Resource website at www.opgr.org. Local problem gambling prevention and treatment services are available at TFCC. To learn more call (503)842-8201.
Create a safe environment at home by safeguarding medications and securing firearms. Some ways that this can be done is to dispose of unused and expired medications, lock up prescription medications in a medication lockbox, lock up firearms in a gun safe, and use a gunlock.
Schedule a free suicide prevention training for your team, classroom, club, or other group. To learn more about free suicide prevention trainings contact me at Janeanek@tfcc.org.
I hope that this column was helpful to you. If you have questions about the column please feel free to contact me at Janeanek@tfcc.org.
Article was published on the Tillamook Headlight Herald September 2022; article can be accessed at https://www.tillamookheadlightherald.com/news_free/september-is-suicide-prevention-month/article_072d3a96-2fb4-11ed-bd86-832cb6e7e0aa.html

September 15, 2022

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