Recent high profile suicides are an important reminder

In this agency’s 35th year of incorporation as a 510(c)(3), Plumas Crisis Intervention and Resource Center (PCIRC) has helped numerous people who’ve experienced many similar situations of crisis, but their personal stories have all been individually unique. This agency has a solid track record of providing effective and appropriate housing and other forms of assistances to many who just needed a “hand up, not a hand out.” We have counseled those afflicted by the memories of a rape or sexual assault, and those suffering from personal losses, such as the loss of a pet, a “playground,” or even one’s self, through the help of one of our Grief Recovery Specialists.

Some walk through our doors looking for comfort because they have lost a loved one who was close to them. These recent days, because of the latest news, conversations by our clientele in the front room of the Quincy office circled around death by suicide. One woman exclaimed that “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Suicide is never the answer.”

Although not every suicide occurs because of a mental illness, every suicide death is still a tragedy. In recent days, we have lost two well-known and admired figures to suicide: Kate Spade, a fashion designer, and Anthony Bourdain, renowned chef and world traveler. We are deeply saddened for their families, friends, colleagues and all those who are affected — directly or indirectly — by these losses. We at PCIRC wish to share our heartfelt condolences as many of us mourn. 

These two sad and impactful events serve as reminders that anyone — I repeat, anyone — can be struggling emotionally on a daily basis. None of us know what’s really going on in someone else’s life.

I felt compelled to write this article today as a reminder of just how important it is to check in with anyone about whom you may be worried — even those lovely souls who appear to be strong — and get additional help when it’s needed. Support and resources are available. These simple things are abundant in Plumas County, yet how many people truly know of all the available resources “out there?” Knowledge can make all the difference. Today, I’ll share several with you.

If you’re worried about yourself or someone else,please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. For 24/7, free, confidential support,CALL 877-332-2754 or visit www.pcirc.com  for more information and resources.

Another great resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress, while offering prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved one. Their toll free number is 800-273-8255.

When there are suicides that receive intense media coverage — and that occur in a short period of time — it can create the illusion that suicide is THE answer to someone who is in pain, anguish and sorrow. Being subjected to stories about suicide by those who may already be feeling vulnerable could possibly create more harm. If you or people around you struggle with depression or suicidal thoughts or impulses, it’s better to limit exposure to debilitating media coverage, and connect with the appropriate help and support that’s needed.

In a related matter also this past week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported on the continuing increase in rates of suicide across the U.S. in recent years. In light of this, PCIRC encourages you to learn more about this topic. To quote: “In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans aged 10 and older died by suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and is one of just three leading causes that are on the rise.”

According to the CDC website, within the state of California between 1999 and 2016, suicide deaths have increased by 14.8 percent. To learn more, plus prevention ideas, please visit cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/p0607-suicide-prevention.html .

On behalf of PCIRC, I wish to thank you for being a member of our caring community and for your commitment to making sure that all people have access to the support and resources they need — and they are needed now more than ever.

We at PCIRC are very grateful to you — our fabulous communities — always, and most especially during challenging times. We bid you peace and wellness.

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