Suicide prevention is an important mission every day of the year, but this week there’s extra attention on helping people get the life-saving resources they need.
That’s because it’s National Suicide Prevention Week.
When Jamie Cody puts on a headset, she’s ready for wherever the conversation may lead.
“Someone may call in for a food resource and they might just have that kind of catch in their voice and we’re able to say, ‘Hey are you okay?’ And they say, ‘No, I’m not. I’m not just struggling with food. My depression has been really bad,’” Helpline Center Connections Center Manager Jamie Cody said.
The Helpline Center fields a variety of calls and messages, including those that are mental health and suicide-related.
Suicide Prevention Director Sheri Nelson says there hasn’t been a great increase in suicide-related calls over last year, but mental health-related calls are up.
“Right now we have increased call volume with those people who are just really stressed out due to COVID-related things, loss of their job, that financial insecurity, which we know that can sometimes lead to suicide attempts,” Helpline Center Suicide Prevention Director Sheri Nelson said.
“We’ve gotten a lot of first time callers that their mental health, this is maybe the first time they’ve struggled with it because for the first time in their life they’re dealing with some financial issues,” Cody said.
That’s what the Helpline Center is here for.
“It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to reach out and get the help and support that you need,” Nelson said.
“We’re here to say, ‘It’s okay to talk to us. It’s okay to have those conversations. It’s okay to ask some of those tough questions,’” Cody said.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or needs mental health support, you can call 211.
This Thursday night, the Helpline Center will host an online event featuring a speaker who has attempted suicide.