by Catherine Carlton, American Red Cross Volunteer
Suicide impacts all ages and all demographics in our community. It’s a topic we don’t always talk about but we should. It could impact all of us. This month is Suicide Prevention Month and the Red Cross is encouraging everyone to learn more about suicide prevention and ways to help.
At the Red Cross we are committed to making mental health a priority for victims of disaster. As part of disaster response, the Red Cross offers Disaster Mental Health Services and provides reconnection workshops through Service to the Armed Forces to assist military members and their family.
Most people are unware how prevalent suicide is within the U.S. According to the Center for Disease Control, Medical Examiners Office:
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. for all ages. On average there are 123 suicides per day.
- The rate of suicide is the highest in middle age white men in particular.
- In the state of Texas from 1999-2016 suicide has increased by 18.9%.
- Nearly 1 in 8 Texas high school students attempted suicide in 2017.
After experiencing tragedy whether due to a home fire, repeated natural disasters, or military service, emotions may become overwhelming. The American Red Cross has dedicated and licenced Disaster Mental Health professional to help people cope with these circumstances and connect them with other professionals to assist in recovery long-term.
Additionally, reconnection workshops are provided to assist military members and their families with coping strategies for deployments, moving orders, or experiences had while in the military. In addition, our Service to the Armed Forces programs partner with multiple other organization to help provide additional means of support.
If you or somone you know may be in danger of suicide, do not hesistate to seek help!
There are several local and national ways to seek support.
- In Dallas County, Crisis Phone: 866-260-8000, North Texas Behavioral Health Authority (NTBHA)
- In Tarrant Councy, Crisis Phone/Text: 800-866-2465, My Health My Resources of Tarrant County (MHMR)
- National Suicide Prevention Line: 800-273-TALK
Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based public education and prevention tool that includes ways to help someone who may consider suicide. This training improves the public’s knowledge of mental health and substance use problems and connects people with resources to help. Learn more at https://bit.ly/2OMD0Tb.
As part of Suicide Prevention Month, the Red Cross is encouraging everyone to familiarize yourself with what you would do it you encountered someone who may need help. Add the crisis line to your phone, share this post and don’t be afraid to talk about suicide with others.