AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – In recognition of National Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day, Northwest Texas Healthcare System (NWTHS) Behavioral Health is set to host an event at the auditorium on Evans Boulevard.
Scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. on Sept. 24, the event will involve the Tascosa ROTC presenting colors and the Amarillo Police Department Police Chief presenting a special message.
National Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day, as described by NWTHS, was created “to recognize the service of officers lost to suicide, raise awareness about suicide in law enforcement and, to remind officers and their families that they are not alone; help is available. This day will help to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help.”
“Northwest Behavioral Health wanted to host a special event to bring local awareness to mental health struggles.” said NWTHS Behavioral Health CEO Kathleen Dostalik, “Our goal is to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help and to recognize our law enforcement. Statistics show that suicides continue to rise and we want to let our community know that we have the resources to help.”
Noted by NWTHS, risk factors are characteristics that may lead someone to be more likely to consider, attempt, or die by suicide. While these factors cannot cause or predict a suicide attempt, it is important to know of them and keep them in mind;
- Mental disorders – particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders
- Alcohol and other substance use disorders
- Previous suicide attempts
- Family history of suicide
- Job or financial loss
This event also came after the latest COVID-19 briefing from the City of Amarillo, in which NWTHS’s Dr. Weis described himself as ‘a bit numb’ in the wake of a member of the Amarillo medical community taking his life, and reminded the community about Suicide Awareness Month.
“In the honor of my friend… take care of your mental health,” Dr. Weis asked the community, and encouraged those struggling to speak out in order to access resources for help and mental health care.
The Amarillo VA’s Dr. Gonzalez also commented on the month, noting that around 20 veterans commit suicide per day. ‘Too many,’ he said.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255, and NWTHS Behavioral Health can be reached at 806-354-1810 for help.