PIKE COUNTY, PA — Suicide ranks as the 10th leading cause of death in the United States across all age groups. To raise awareness of this important issue, the Pike County Commissioners recently …
PIKE COUNTY, PA — Suicide ranks as the 10th leading cause of death in the United States across all age groups. To raise awareness of this important issue, the Pike County Commissioners recently passed a resolution recognizing September as Suicide Prevention Month and helped to install educational signs on the lawn of the Pike County Courthouse to offer hope and resources to people in need.
“It’s important for people with mental health issues or depression to know that help is available, and for family and friends to know the warning signs of suicide and what to do if you see these signs,” said the commissioners.
According to Larissa Kimmel, the System of Care Coordinator for Carbon, Monroe and Pike counties, there are three areas to observe in others that may provide clues.
Talk: Is someone making direct or indirect statements about not wanting to be alive such as being a burden to loved ones, wanting to go to sleep and never wake up, feeling trapped, having no reason to live or talking about a plan to kill themselves?
Mood: Watch out for moods that may be uncharacteristic of them and long-lasting like depression, anxiety, loss of interest, irritability and rage.
Behavior: Take notice if they’re withdrawing from activities they have always enjoyed, acting reckless, increased use of drugs or alcohol, giving away prized possessions, sleeping too much or too little or buying a weapon.
“When we notice these things it is important to talk with them about what you are seeing and listen to what they have to say,” says Kimmel. “Listening is the simplest thing any of us can do to allow a person to feel heard and valued. Let them know it is okay to not feel okay and that they are not alone. Give them options of how to get help including a local counselor or doctor, a crisis hotline, or a connection with someone they trust.”
Carbon, Monroe, and Pike counties have local crisis services called New Perspectives, which specializes in connecting people in the Pocono region with life-saving resources backed by expert knowledge of services, interventions and resources. Call 570/992-0879 to speak with a crisis worker who can direct a person to the help they need. But in some cases, if the circumstance is urgent, call 911.
Visit www.rhd.org/new-perspectives for more information on New Perspectives.