Know the Signs. Be the Prevention.

Posted by Kelly Holck on Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 at 2:31pm.

This week's post is veering away from real estate and the norm and focusing on something a little more serious and a little closer to our hearts: suicide prevention. 

At 74%, suicide is the leading cause of violent death in Dane County. 


Unfortunately, no one recognized ten year old Houston native Kevin Reese Jr. as a risk, and the outcome was heartbreaking (read here). 


Image of Kevin Reese Jr. courtesy of New York Daily News

- In the U.S., about 45,000 deaths are attributed to suicide each year, making it the 10th leading cause of death in America (“Beat the Blues Cruise 2019"). 
- In Dane County, Wisconsin, 50-60 people are taken from us annually due to suicide.
- Another 500 people in Dane County visit hospitals due to injuries that occurred during suicide attempts (Safe Communities).

After spending the past few days educating myself on suicide in the U.S. and Dane County, I'm honestly shocked. I knew suicide was an issue, but I never realized just how big of an issue it is in our community. However, I did read something that, if spun correctly, is good news: 90% of those suicide related deaths have a treatable mental illness or substance abuse disorder.

Did you hear that? TREATABLE. 

That being said, there are many ways we, as a community, can help to treat people suffering from an illness like this.

  1. Know the signs when someone is suffering. Some things to be aware of are a person's mood, behavior, and words. You can learn more about risk factors and signs here. Another way to educate yourself is to attend a seminar. Safe Communities in Madison offers free classes where you can become a certified Gatekeeper.



  2. Donate to the cause. An easy way for you to support those in need is to donate to those making prevention possible. One organization who is always accepting donations is The Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Your money will be used to help support the people who are around 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for support of our loved ones. Donate here

  3. Raise awareness. This is one that many people don't realize has a HUGE positive impact on the cause with little effort and cost to you. There are events happening all over the world, everyday, that are focused on making more people aware of this epidemic. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has a search tool that will pull up some of the events happening in your state in the near future. Otherwise, head to Google and search "suicide prevention events". Several popped up for me within the next month in the Madison area alone.   

So, if you read this and decide you want to be a part of the prevention, I have a fun and easy way that actually hits two of the above points: the Beat the Blues Cruise

What: For $40.00-$50.00, you can help raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention while getting a little exercise! You can either sign up for the $40.00 5K Walk/Run or the $50.00 10K Chip Timed Run. The proceeds will be donated directly to organizations that are dedicated to providing mental health care: Journey Mental Health and Crisis Text Line.
When: Saturday, April 6th at 8AM
Where: Meet at Keva Sports Center, 8312 Forsythia St, Middleton

 There are already 379 participants signed up and almost $7,000.00 raised! Join the crusade in fighting mental illness and walk with the Beat the Blues crew.

Click here to sign up to Beat the Blues today.

 

And, f you're ever feeling like you or someone you know/love may be at risk for suicide, please, don't hesitate to reach out for help.

Here in Dane County, we have a ton of helpful resources (below) and wonderful people who want to be your support system.

 

Sources and Other Helpful Websites

“About Suicide.” AFSP, 2019, afsp.org/about-suicide/.

“Beat the Blues Cruise 2019.” Beat the Blues Cruise 2019, 2019, www.beatthebluescruise.com/.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Vibrant Emotional Health, 2019, suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.

Safe Communities. “Suicide Prevention | Safe Communities Madison WI.” Safe Communities Madison-Dane, Safe Communities Madison-Dane, 2019, safercommunity.net/suicide-prevention/.

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