Page 23 - Scene Magazine September 2023 48-09
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  For Your Health
Suicide Prevention Facilitator, Summit Point
   September is Suicide Prevention Month, and each year mental health organizations and individuals across the U.S. and around the world raise aware- ness about this important issue. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. From 2008-2019, suicide was among the top ten leading causes of death, only moving off the list in 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Training.
recommendations at http://reportin- Lethal means safety, which entails putting as much time and distance between a person in crisis and any potential lethal means (e.g. fire- arms, medications, drugs, and alcohol) saves lives. Giving a person time for the suicidal impulse to pass (usually lasting minutes to hours) without access to lethal means is one of the most effec- tive prevention strategies. Access to effective mental health care saves lives. Culture plays an important role in pro- moting help-seeking, purpose, belong- ing, and connection. There are many factors in addition to mental illness, which place people at risk for suicide. A public health approach to suicide prevention can help address these factors in many ways.
Suicide prevention has historically been addressed by providing mental health services to people showing signs of suicidal thoughts or behaviors. While services such as therapy, crisis stabiliza- tion, and hospitalization can be critical for those who may be thinking about or who have made a suicide attempt, there is a glaring issue: the majority of people who die by suicide have never seen a mental health professional.
Suicide is preventable; it is not an inevitability. Suicide is complex and multidimensional; just as there are many different pathways that may lead someone to a suicide crisis, prevention requires a multidimensional approach. Most people who attempt suicide
This leads to why we must treat suicide as a preventable public health issue, and why we all have a role in preventing suicide. Most of us are
not innately knowledgeable about the warning signs that may indicate some- one is thinking about suicide. Even in cases where some of the more obvious warning signs are present, such as a person talking about killing themselves or wanting to die, it does not always result in the person receiving help and support. There may be many reasons for this, such as not recognizing that a true crisis is present, disbelief that the person could actually make a suicide at- tempt, not knowing what to do or what to say, or not knowing how or where to access help.
have ambivalence, a desire to die and a desire to live. Most people showed warning signs prior to their suicide/ attempt. While we see different suicide rates in groups across the U.S. and globally, there is no demographic that is immune. The method with which a person attempts suicide is the greatest factor that determines if that person lives or dies. Firearms account for
Suicide prevention is a community responsibility. The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Calhoun County (SPC-
CC) is a community partnership led by Summit Pointe with a mission to reduce the number of suicide deaths. For more information, to get involved, or to sched- ule a free training or presentation, please contact Scott Teichmer at steichmer@ or (269) 249-8453. Scott is the Suicide Prevention Facil- itator for Summit Pointe. He is also a suicide attempt survivor, and has written a message of hope to share with you.
Suicide Prevention: A Community Responsibility?
While suicide is a complex human behavior about which we still have much to learn, there are things we do currently know about suicide:
 Just as we would not expect someone to know how to respond to a life threatening emergency such as a cardiac crisis, without having had prior training, we cannot expect someone to know how to recognize and respond to a suicide crisis without education and training. And just as having as many community members trained in CPR as possible can increase the odds of a per- son surviving a heart attack, the same logic can be applied to having as many people as possible trained in suicide prevention, such as the QPR (Question,
If you or someone you know may be thinking of suicide, please contact Summit Pointe’s 24 hour crisis helpline at 1-800-632-5449, or you can call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. There is hope; there is help.
the majority of suicide deaths in the U.S. The vast majority of people who survive an attempt do not later die by suicide, but go on to live out the rest of their lives.
We know that asking someone directly if they are thinking of suicide will not put the idea in their head. Media portrayals and how we talk about suicide in public discourse can have a harmful or protective effect (see
What I Mean When I Say Suicide is Preventable –
words of a suicide attempt survivor
“No person on this earth is beyond hope, not one.
Many times in life, have I felt completely hopeless.
In such times, it’s imperative that you continue to hold hope for me, when I cannot. Please realize that your hope may not actually diminish my pain.
In fact, you are more likely to lessen my pain just by truly acknowledging it exists. Feeling seen and understood helps me reconnect to life.
No person on this earth is destined to die by suicide, including me.
Your HOPE matters; suicide is preventable.”

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