World Suicide Prevention Day: Resources are available in Yakima, Tri-Cities
YAKIMA, Wash. — While we’re locked in a battle with COVID-19, a parallel public health concern is claiming lives. The CDC calls suicide a “growing public health problem.”
September is recognized as Suicide Prevention Month, and Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. The goal is to raise awareness for a health crisis that has only been exasperated by the pandemic.
“We are seeing our crisis numbers steadily pick up, and that’s been consistently happening for the last couple of months now,” said Samantha Noble, director of acute care operations at Comprehensive Healthcare, which has offices throughout Eastern Washington.
When stay-at-home orders first went into effect, Noble said they actually saw a drop in the number of people reaching out. But as the pandemic has dragged on that trend reversed, and there hasn’t been just one driving factor.
“I think it’s a cumulative effect – people are isolated and facing economic challenges and facing the unknown,” said Noble. “We’re really seeing people that are impacted by all aspects.”
Some people may have been struggling with mental health and other issues before the pandemic.
“Those that already have behavioral health challenges, substance abuse challenges and mental health challenges are feeling the effects more strongly,” said Noble.
In honor of Suicide Prevention Month, Comprehensive Healthcare is offering a free, virtual Suicide Awareness For Everyone (SAFE) training.
The training is designed to empower individuals to intervene when someone is experiencing thoughts of suicide and to dispel common myths regarding suicide and mental health. It will cover a range of topics including behavioral health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The training will take place September 22 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. To register, click here.
Comprehensive Health also offers free, 24/7 crisis services. The Yakima crisis line can be reached at 1-800-572-8122. For a list of other Comprehensive Health locations, click here.
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