May is Mental Health Awareness Month, Suicide Prevention

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, Suicide Prevention

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    Although no official report has been released on how staff Sergeant Stephen Burpee died last week, suicide is more common in the military than most believe. And with May being Mental Health Awareness month it was the perfect time to visit The West Texas Counseling Center to discuss suicide prevention.

    Covering suicides is the forbidden rule in news, but it happens everyday. Nearly 38,000 people commit suicide every year. That's double the amount of homicides. Kevin Wade, a therapist at West Texas Counseling and Guidance says a number of things can cause people to think about a permanent solution to a temporary problem, “There’s been an increase of housing cost and so folks are having a harder time with cost of living. So that can significantly cause people distress.”

He said it’s an uncomfortable topic--but it’s important to know how to detect and protect those who may be thinking about it.

“The first thing you don’t want to do is leave them alone,” Wade says.

The safest thing to do is call 9-1-1. “The nice thing about Tom Green County especially is there are mental health deputies assigned to the Sheriff’s department and so these are deputies who are specially trained on how to do a quick triage of somebody’s who’s out in the community.”

In 1999, Judge Fred Buck helped develop this task-force and he stated, “When we started the program there was a need for direct law enforcement to respond to people with a mental health crisis.”

The deputies assist the vulnerable and transport them to a hospital rather than to jail. Buck said, “The first year that we were in operation the suicide rate in Tom Green County was reduced by 50% whether this was a direct result of the Tom Green County Mental Health Deputy unit or not, nobody knows but it did help tremendously and Tom Green County was at the top of the list per capita for the suicide rate.”

Those numbers have gotten better, but suicides are still occurring. There are a number of resources for those dealing with suicidal thoughts.

There are a number of suicide hotlines, but if you are needing help or someone to talk to visit: http://www.mhmrcv.org/
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
http://www.sprc.org/
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml
http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/statistics/index.html

or call 1-800-375-8965.

  • May is Mental Health Awareness Month, Suicide PreventionMore>>

  • May is Mental Health Awareness Month, Suicide Prevention

    May is Mental Health Awareness Month, Suicide Prevention

    May is Mental Health Awareness Month, Suicide Prevention

    SAN ANGELO, TX-- Suicide is more common in the military than most believe. With May being Mental Health Awareness month, it was the perfect time to visit The West Texas Counseling Center to discuss suicide prevention.
    SAN ANGELO, TX-- Suicide is more common in the military than most believe. With May being Mental Health Awareness month, it was the perfect time to visit The West Texas Counseling Center to discuss suicide prevention.
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