WACO, Texas – The CDC says there is one suicide death every eleven minutes, plus millions of attempts each year.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and September 5th – 11th highlights Prevention Week.
The Heart of Texas Region MHMR Waco deals with people in the community daily – giving them the resources and support they need to get through crisis.
MHMR is on a mission to make zero suicide a reality, and believes preventing suicide begins with the willingness to ask questions followed by the appropriate response.
According to the CDC, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death – and it affects all ages.
Texans Recovering Together Crisis Counselor Christina Gibson deals with people who are affected emotionally by the pandemic.
“People have been dealing with it in unhealthy ways, as well. We see that a lot in our rise in substance use disorders,” Gibson said. “The rise in domestic violence cases, suicide completion, and suicide attempts.”
Gibson says loneliness has affected people’s mental and emotional health – especially those experiencing depression and anxiety for the first time.
At the center, they work on suicide prevention tools through ASK training and trauma informed care.
“We just look at, ‘What is the pressing issue? How can we help this person get to a place where they can respond to their own lives?,'” Gibson said.
According to the CDC’s suicide statistics, there is one suicide death in the U.S. every eleven minutes.
Heart of Texas Counseling Center Clinical Services Director Bethie Timmons says people contemplating suicide don’t want to die – they just want their pain to stop.
“I think if I were gonna put a big point out there about awareness, it would be around being willing to ask the question,” Timmons said. “We know that when you ask people about suicide, it can go a long way to save a person’s life.”
Timmons says if a person indicates they are suicidal, they will work on a safety plan with them.
“You are not alone. Please reach out and talk to someone until someone listens,” Timmons said.
To learn more about Suicide Prevention Month, visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the hotline at 1-800-273-8255. To contact the MHMR Crisis Hotline, you can call 1-866-752-3451.