World Suicide Prevention Day went by again this year with little to no fanfare from local news organizations. You may not have even known that it was Monday.
Why is Suicide Prevention important to you? Do you know the warning signs of a suicidal person? If you have someone who is suicidal in your life do you know what to do to get them the help that they and YOU need? Suicide Prevention is important to you because research suggests that 1 in 5 people are now affected by a suicide completion. If you have not been affected yet, you or someone you love probably will be affected at some point in your lifetime. There are a lot of national organizations you can contact.
Here’s a great one. STOP. Get your cell phone NOW. Enter 800-273-8255 and save it as the Suicide Prevention LifeLine in your phone. Because you may not remember 1-800-273-TALK when you are in a crisis situation.
Most people hate to call numbers because they fear what will happen. When you are in a crisis situation that fear is magnified. So, what does happen when you call this number? You are asked if you are a Veteran. If you are not a Veteran, your call gets routed to a local call center near you geographically. Our local call center is in Pueblo, Colorado. If you are a Veteran, or are calling about a Veteran, you get the same level of service but your call is re-routed to a Veterans affairs call center that specializes in Veterans.
If the person you are calling about has already inflicted self-harm, you can be assured the person answering the phone will call for local law enforcement and an ambulance. The same will happen if there is a plan and the means to inflict self harm, or if you are not sounding rational or coming back to your healthy mind while talking to the specially trained person on the phone. If, however, you are in crisis, but don’t have a plan to kill or harm yourself, here is what will happen: the call center is a listening ear and a resource. They will help you find local affordable services, let you vent, give you options, and will assist you in finding local resources to help. They will listen for as long as it takes. You don’t have a five minute timer that will go off and the person has to hang up.
The person I spoke with said the majority of the calls she gets (she works during the day) are people who just need to know someone cares and someone is there to listen and help. She did say that at night the number of high risk crisis calls increases because of the nature of night time, depression and the use of alcohol by a suicidal person.
If you feel you are slipping into a crisis situation with yourself or a loved one, what can you do to stop the slipping, and start thriving? A list of local therapists can be found in the yellow pages under “counselors”. Here is a list of regional resources in Southwest Colorado that come highly recommended:
• Steve Warner 970-252-1586 Licensed Professional Counselor
• Erik Cooper 970-249-2332 MA, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
• Pam Schofield 970-252-0911 MA
• Pamela Hancock at 970-728-4989 or www.telluridearttherapy.com M.A., LPC, ATR
• Enda 970-497-8955
• Kim Briarwood 970-901-0645 QPR Certified (Question, Persuade, Refer) She can come to your work, church, group, club or organization and train you on how to identify suicidal signs and how to then Question, Persuade, and Refer the individual to help.
• The SW Center for Mental Health 970-252-6220
If you try a therapist, or two, or even three that don’t work for you, don’t give up. Keep trying. There is a perfect fit for you and your family but you won’t find it if you give up.
Another great resource I came across while researching is an article written by Lisa Firestone. I love her “All Hands On Deck” approach to suicide prevention and you may too.
If you have other great resources please leave a comment and post the contact information for that resource below. We are all in this human race together and EVERY life matters.
About Author Juliet Carr
Juliet Carr is a spunky irreverent sorta girl whose soul found its home on the Western Slope of the Colorado Mountains. Juliet is madly and deeply head over heels in love with her husband and children, ages 15, 8, and 4. She finds that being mom to kids who are each at such different stages of childhood is really interesting, and she loves watching her three children grow into the people they are meant to be. She is an author and founder of a non-profit organization and serves on a local and state board of directors whose focus is suicide prevention. This mama wears her heart on her sleeve and speaks her truth from her heart.