By Kim Kane
Suicide Prevention Program manger, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
This week is National Suicide Prevention Week and a great time to remember that we all have a role to play in preventing suicide! Here are some things you can do to make a difference.
Take 5! Visit www.take5tosavelives.org and complete the Take 5 Steps. Through these steps you will,
- Learn suicide warning signs
- Learn what your role is in preventing suicide
- Practice self-care by making mental wellness a priority
- Know how to reach out; help is there and recovery is possible
- Spread the word for others to Take 5!
Reach out. Research shows us that people we lose to suicide feel disconnected from others. Suicide Prevention Week is a good time to think about those in our lives who might be feeling alone and reach out. A simple text, call or email could make all the difference to someone feeling lonely.
Learn more. Visit helpful websites to learn more about suicide prevention. For Idaho, visit http://spp.dhw.idaho.gov, https://spanidaho.org, or https://idahospc.org. Nationally, visit http://sprc.org, http://suicidology.org, or http://afsp.org. Or consider taking a training. Visit https://www.idahospc.org/training/ to find a training, or request a training for your group at http://spp.dhw.idaho.gov.
Get involved. There are suicide prevention groups throughout Idaho. Visit the SPAN Idaho regional chapter page at https://www.spanidaho.org/regional-chapters to find a chapter near you or contact SPAN to start your own chapter. You can also find ways to be involved at the state level. Visit one of the sites listed above for contact information.
Suicide Prevention Week in Idaho also sees our state taking new strides to prevent these tragic deaths. The Suicide Prevention Program and partners from critical stakeholder groups throughout Idaho are completing a new comprehensive plan for suicide prevention that will focus on building greater capacity for prevention efforts. The new plan will ultimately result in more suicide prevention training, support and services at local levels; bringing help to Idaho’s rural and frontier areas.
While state-level changes are under way, there’s so much everyone can do as individuals. Take 5, reach out, learn more, get involved and always check in with those you are concerned about. The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 with compassionate people to listen and help. There’s always hope. There’s always help. Call or text 208-398-HELP (4357).
Kim Kane is the program manager for the Suicide Prevention Program in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Learn more about the program here.