Published in the Iola Register on Aug. 23, 2013.

Letter to the Editor 8-23-13

Dear Editor,
 September 8-14, 2013 is National Suicide Prevention Week and September 10, 2013 is National Suicide Awareness Day. There will be educational events across the nation to raise  awareness of the signs of suicide and encourage communities to engage in suicide prevention activities.  Ninety percent of the people who die from suicide were suffering from a mental illness such as depression or bipolar disorder at the time of their death.
 Additional risk factors for suicide include substance use or dependence, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, impulsivity, aggression, previous suicide attempts, a family history of attempted or completed suicide and  serious medical conditions or pain. Stress from environmental factors can increase the risk for suicide.
 Fifty to seventy-five percent of all people who attempt suicide tell someone they are thinking of suicide. If someone mentions suicide, tell them you are concerned about them and do not be afraid to ask questions. Encourage the person to see a physician or mental health provider. If the person is talking about or threatening suicide, respond to it as a crisis. Take the person to a walk-in clinic such as a Pawnee Mental Health Services office or a local hospital emergency room. Call for assistance and support if necessary.

Pawnee Mental Health’s Crisis Line: 1-800-609-2002
Veterans’ Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255. Press 1
SAVE Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

On September 10, 2013, Pawnee Mental Health Services will present the Suicide Prevention segment of Mental Health First Aid in three locations. The presentations are free and the community is invited to attend.  The presentations will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the following locations. Preregistration is requested but not required. To register, contact Mary Heath at 785-587-4300 or at

Houston Street Ballroom
437 Houston Street
Manhattan, Kan.

Pawnee Mental Health Services
355 Grant Ave.
Junction City, Kan.

Wesleyan Church
1603 Cedar Street
Concordia, Kan.
Terry Seirer-Becker LCP
Director, Crisis Program
Pawnee Mental Health Services
814 Caroline Ave
Junction City, Kan.