CSI & YScreen promote suicide prevention awareness to address suicide in Fond du Lac County
Imagine someone you know, a family member, friend, student or coworker, telling you they wanted to end their life. What would you do, what would you say? Your first response most likely would be one of anxiety and fear. Most individuals do not know how to respond to someone who is suicidal, have not received any training and simply do not know what to do in fear they will do the “wrong” thing. The problem is, the rate of death by suicide in Fond du Lac County is above the state and national levels and things can be done to reduce this rate if people are willing to become involved. September is National Suicide Prevention Month and an opportunity to become more aware of what to do. In addition, remember to speak to your medical providers or schools about the availability of screening for mental health and suicide ideation.
- ASK – #BeThe1To ask the tough question of someone in serious distress, “Are you thinking of killing yourself?” Do not be afraid to ask.
- KEEP THEM SAFE – Ask if they have thought about how they might kill themselves. #BeThe1To keep them safe by removing objects they might use to harm themselves, stay with them during the crisis.
- BE THERE – Stay with them, listen to them, have them tell their story about what has led them to feel so hopeless and in so much pain. #BeThe1To listen without judging, offering concern and a sense of hope.
- HELP THEM CONNECT – #BeThe1To help the individual become connected with support. Some resources include:
- Fond du Lac County Crisis Line: 920-929-3535
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-TALK (8255)
- HOPELINE (national text line): text TALK to 741741
You could also encourage the individual to go to the hospital, call their primary care provider, talk with a school counselor or pastor, or call a mental health clinic.
- FOLLOW UP – #BeThe1To connect with the individual within a few days of the crisis and check in to see how they are doing; let them know you care about them.
Sounds simple, but it is not always. For us to reduce deaths by suicide in our county and elsewhere we need to become more comfortable being the one who will step up, stay with the individual and help them during their time of crisis. There are a number of community resources available to obtain additional information. One is the Comprehensive Service Integration of Fond du Lac County [CSI] Facebook page (www.facebook.com/csifdl/) where you can find more information about county-wide initiatives such as Destination Zero and YScreen. Destination Zero is designed to reduce deaths by suicide through training programs and education, and the YScreen program offers a social-emotional health screen to all 9th grade youth in the county. Community trainings of Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) are periodically offered which take an hour and a half to become instructed in what to say and do when someone is in crisis and thinking about taking their life. All it takes is for more of us to become involved. Are you willing to #BeThe1To save a life?