Mental health advocates highlight resources for Suicide Prevention Month

Mental health advocates highlight resources for Suicide Prevention Month
Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 8:34 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - September is National Suicide prevention month and in the Tri-State numerous groups are bringing attention to the resources available for those who struggle with mental health and suicidal thoughts.

According to the CDC’s Provisional data, nearly 50,000 people lost their lives to suicide last year, making it one of the leading causes of death in America.

That’s why the entire month of September is dedicated to recognizing this issue and helping people learn about the resources available.

In Evansville, Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare is one of those organizations who offers resources.

Director of Communications at Southwestern, Becky Glines, said of the organization, “We have people on the team including myself who are survivors of suicide we are people who have lost a loved one to suicide so we have lived that experience and that loss.”

Glines lost her father to suicide 19 years ago and says “I would go back and do everything I could’ve done differently if I would’ve known what I know today about suicide prevention.”

She says there’s three stages, Prevention, Intervention and ‘Postvention’.

“They can call us if they’re in crisis and we talk to them over the phone and decide whether or not we can alleviate that crisis,” said Glines, “if not we can do a mobile response with EPD or the Vanderburgh county sheriff’s office or we have a stabilization unit.”

In the case of a mental health crisis that requires immediate assistance, there are numerous hotline numbers that operate 24/7 including Southwestern Behavioral Health’s which can be reached by calling (812) 422-1100.

988 is the national suicide and crisis lifeline. It was created just over a year ago and operates similarly to 911.

Katy Adams, President and CEO at Southwestern said “If someone calls that 988 number and they need a local response then they will transfer that call to us.”

In the unfortunate case of a suicide, Southwestern also provides postvention resources

“We reach out to people who have a loss and say we are here for you as long as you allow us to be here for you,” said Glines.

But officials say the real issue is not knowing how to go to get help.

“I always tell people here’s the deal, if you go and see a therapist and it’s not working that is okay, but you need to then reach out and see someone else because you will eventually find someone you click with”

The Southwestern Indiana Suicide Prevention Coalition is a larger organization that partners with the Southwestern Behavioral.

To raise awareness, the Coalition is holding a ‘LifeSaver’s’ walk this Saturday Sept. 9. Officials recommend registering beforehand. You can do that and learn more about the walk here.

Mental health advocates highlighting resources for suicide prevention month