Finding the words to talk about suicide
Suicide Prevention Network
Here are prevention and support hotlines that anyone can call for immediate suicide concerns: Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 or text “ANSWER” to 839863 24-Hour Psychiatric Emergency Services (El Dorado County Mental Health): Placerville 530-622-3345; South Lake Tahoe: 530-544-2219 Suicide Prevention Network: California or Nevada residents 775-783-1510 Other local mental health resources can be found at bartonhealth.org/mentalhealthABOUT THE AUTHOR Alisa Merino is the Program Coordinator for the Suicide Prevention Network, a non-profit offering education, awareness, and supportive services to members of Douglas County (Nevada) and El Dorado County (California). They are hosting El Dorado County’s first suicide awareness walk on Sunday, Sept. 10, at Lakeview Commons in South Lake Tahoe. Learn more at spnawareness.org.
Each year, more people die from suicide than war, homicide, and natural disasters combined.
The good news is that suicide can be prevented if the signs are detected and the right actions are taken.
Healthy coping skills are critical for dealing with incidents of trauma throughout life. Unfortunately, some people find that life stressors are too difficult and some choose negative ways to cope. The most critical warning signs of suicide are:
Talking about wanting to die or about suicide
Support Local Journalism
Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
Looking for ways to kill oneself
If someone you know is displaying these signs, take action and follow these steps:
Step one: Ask. Ask the person directly if he or she is thinking about suicide. “I’ve noticed you’ve been acting different and I’m really concerned. Are you thinking about suicide?”
Step two: Listen. Hear the person’s story. Listen and offer support without judgment. “It sounds like you are going through a lot. I’m so sorry. How can I support you?”
Step three: Connect. Connect the person to resources. “I want to make sure you stay safe. Can we call someone so that we can keep you safe?”
Certain protective factors can help reduce the risk of suicide, including:
Effective behavioral health care.
Connectedness to individuals, family, community, and social institutions.
Life skills such as problem solving and coping.
Self-esteem and a sense of purpose or meaning in life.
Cultural, religious, or personal beliefs that discourage suicide.
Healthy Tahoe is a look at health-related topics that shape our community and is made possible through content provided by our sponsors.
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.