Populations that wrongfully get overlooked in Suicide Prevention

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Sometimes it can be difficult to know what resources are available for suicide prevention. The Sweetwater County Prevention Coalition would like to make it a little bit easier to be aware of resources for yourself and those you care about most. Suicide prevention resources for minorities and diverse populations are not always as readily accessible as desired. While the resources do exist we all need to do a better job of helping fellow community members utilize the appropriate resources that will best fit their needs. Below we have listed some underserved populations for suicide prevention and the resources that go with them. If we have not covered a population that you believe needs serving please contact the Sweetwater County Prevention team, Delaney and Shelby at 307-352-6677. If you or someone you know, are having thoughts about suicide, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

LQBTQ+ Community – Over 80% of LGBTQ+ youth have been assaulted or threatened, and every instance of victimization in an LGBTQ+ person’s life more than doubles the likelihood of self-harming. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation reports that 60% of LGBT youth reported being so sad or hopeless, they stopped doing some of their usual activities. LGBT youth are more than twice as likely to feel suicidal and over four times as likely to attempt suicide compared to heterosexual youth. Here are resources to help support members of the LGBTQ community and to help be an ally.

  • You Matter: How To Be A Straight Ally. (youmatter.suicidepreventionlifeline.org)
  • It Gets Better Project: Hope For LGBT Youth-The It Gets Better Project’s mission is to uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) youth around the globe.
  • The Trevor Project- is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning youth. Lifeline(Call) 1-866-488-7386 (Text) “START” 678-678
  • Trans Lifeline- The Trans lifeline provides trans peer support for our community. (Call) (877)565-8860

Minority Populations – Understanding racial and ethnic differences in rates of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and suicide deaths is essential for more effectively directing suicide prevention efforts. Racial and ethnic groups differ in their access to culturally appropriate behavioral health treatment, experiences of discrimination and historical trauma, and other factors that may be related to suicide risk. Additional factors at play for reporting and documenting suicide in diverse populations may be affected by underreporting, or other limitations. (This information is provided by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center)

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers free suicide prevention support from a trained professional. The call program caters towards many different languages and is confidential. When you call the Suicide prevention lifeline your call will be rerouted based on your area code to better accommodate you and explore any local resources. The number is 1-800-273-8255.

Veteran Community – In 2018, firearms were the method of suicide in 69.4% of male Veteran suicide deaths and 41.9% of female Veteran suicide deaths. There were 538 suicides among never federally activated former Service members in 2018, an average of 1.5 suicide deaths per day. This is separate from the average of 17.6 suicides per day among Veterans. (This information is provided by mentalhealthVA.gov). Veterans enrolled in VHA care are less likely to be employed and more likely to have lower income levels than Veterans not receiving VHA care. Some Veterans report difficulty in transitioning to civilian positions and difficulty translating military-related skills to higher-paying civilian jobs. Unemployment and poverty are correlated with homelessness among Veterans. More recently, with the nation’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in unemployment among Veterans. In April 2020, there were 833,000 more unemployed Veterans than in April 2019. Over this time, the Veteran unemployment rate increased from 2.3% to 11.7%. These Economic disparities contribute to factors related to suicide. Listed below ae Veteran specific suicide resources.

  • Suicide Prevention LifeLine- 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and PRESS “1” or text 838255 for the Veterans Crisis Line.
  • Southwest Counseling Service (2300 Foothill Blvd. Location) provides FREE gun locks, Deterra Medication disposal bags, and medication lockboxes.
  • Vets4Warriors- We are a national 24/7-peer support network for veteran and military communities 100% staffed by trained veterans and members of the military community, their families or caregivers. (1-855-838-8255)

Rural populations– In Rural areas, suicide is underreported by up to 300%. For people living in rural areas taking care of our mental health should be more of a priority. In rural areas when towns and cities can be so spread out we may also have a hard time receiving medical and mental health care. Some options for mental health can include telehealth. Some tele(mental)health options include:

  • Sweetwater Memorial Telehealth-(307) 219-5423
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline- 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Text line- 741741 “WYO” or “HELLO”
  • https://www.betterhelp.com – “Better Help”, eCounseling with a licensed counselor anytime, anywhere.
  • https://try.talkspace.com – “Talk Space”, Online Therapy that is confidential and affordable.

Gambling- According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, one in five gamblers attempt suicide, about twice the rate of other addictions. Resources for people who experience a gambling addiction are listed below.

 

  • National Council on Problem Gambling- Call 1-800-522-4700 Chat org/chat Text 1-800-522-4700
  • Gamblers Anonymous- Wyoming Hotline Number: 855-2 CALL-GA (855-222-5542) Find a meeting near you (gamblersanonymous.org)

*Look out for the ones who you care about by understanding Warning Signs and Risk Factors associated with suicide. Here is what to look for (provided by the Suicide Prevention LifeLine):

Warning Signs: Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these, seek help by calling Lifeline.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swings

Risk Factors: Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide. They cannot cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they are important to be aware of.

  • Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
  • Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • Hopelessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Major physical illnesses
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Family history of suicide
  • Job or financial loss
  • Loss of relationship(s)
  • Easy access to lethal means
  • Local clusters of suicide
  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation
  • Stigma associated with asking for help
  • Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
  • Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)

 

 


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