An update from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: Working to prevent suicide in Idaho; Requiring proof of residency or work for COVID-19 vaccination

Training 25,000 Idahoans to help prevent suicide

Suicide is a critical public health issue in Idaho. It brings tragic loss to families, friends, schools, and entire communities across the state each year. In 2018, Idaho had the 5th highest suicide rate in the U.S. There were nearly 24 suicides per 100,000 Idahoans. Despite this dark statistic, we can progress toward a brighter future because suicide is preventable.

Everyone in Idaho has an important role to play in changing these statistics. We, at the Department of Health and Welfare (DHW), are working toward a future where there are zero suicides in Idaho.

In our work toward this goal, one of our DHW strategic objectives is to reduce Idaho’s suicide rate by 20 percent by 2025. Part of this goal includes helping to deliver suicide awareness and prevention training, alongside our partners, to 25,000 Idahoans between 2018 and June 30, 2021. And we are nearly there. As of Feb. 11, we are 91 percent of the way to this goal; 22,763 Idahoans have participated in the training programs offered through our partnerships.

Continue reading “An update from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: Working to prevent suicide in Idaho; Requiring proof of residency or work for COVID-19 vaccination”

Rock Your Role this week for suicide prevention

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,

  1. Learn suicide warning signs
  2. Learn what your role is in preventing suicide
  3. Practice self-care by making mental wellness a priority
  4. Know how to reach out; help is there and recovery is possible
  5. 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.  Continue reading “Rock Your Role this week for suicide prevention”