This year, September 9th through September 15th marks National Suicide Prevention Week. The Helpline Center in South Dakota is preparing to hold a series of events to highlight suicide prevention and awareness.
Helpline Center officials say every 14 minutes, someone in the United States dies by suicide, with over one million Americans attempting suicide every year. They say it's estimated that for every death by suicide, six people are immediately affected. Sadly they say in Minnehaha County there were 32 suicide deaths in 2011. That's why the Helpline Center say they want to continue to lead the fight against suicide and supporting suicide survivors across South Dakota.
In honor of the National Suicide Prevention Week, the Helpline Center has many different events planned. In honor of Worldwide Suicide Prevention Day, you and your family are encouraged to light a candle near a window at 8:00p.m. on Monday night to promote suicide prevention, or to remember a loved one lost to suicide and support survivors of suicide.
Local teens are also getting involved with Suicide Prevention Week. Local teens painted canvases of HOPE for those in crisis. These paintings represent that there is hope during the darkest of times. The HOPE paintings will be on display across Sioux Falls during National Suicide Prevention Week encouraging people and family members to reach out for help.
Helpline officials say Americans 65 and older have a significantly higher rate of suicide than younger populations. To combat this, a panel will be discussing older adult depression at Active Generations, on September 11th at 11:45am. Panelists include: Dr. Matthew Malone from Avera Behavioral Health, Rachelle Broveleit, PA-C from Sanford Behavioral Health, Phyllis Arends from NAMI and Rick Knobe from KSOO.
The Helpline Center in partnership with the South Dakota Department of Social Services is also launching an updated prevention website. The South Dakota Suicide Prevention website has updated content and resources with pages specific to parents, teens and prevention professionals. There are also new discussion boards for prevention professionals, trainers and task force members statewide. To see the new website, visit www.sdsuicideprevention.org/. Or use the link on the left side of your screen.
The Helpline Center has been South Dakota's leader in suicide and crisis support for over 30 years. The Center answers the suicide prevention & crisis line 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round, for all residents in South Dakota. Helpline Center officials say they talked to over 1,000 people last year about suicide, including those who were having thoughts of suicide and those who were concerned about someone they knew. The Helpline Center also offers support groups and classes for people who have lost a loved one to suicide.
For more information on suicide prevention and aftercare services provided by the Helpline Center, or for more information on Suicide Prevention Week, visit www.helplinecenter.org or dial 211.