988 - Help is Available!

4/3/20232 min read

Suicide is a topic not often talked about here in Kidder County – considered taboo, rude to bring up, or avoided completely. Those of us who have had a loved one commit suicide, we know how devastating it is. Why does it happen? What could we have done differently?

Suicide is NO ONEs fault. It is a very complex interplay of many factors and has no one true cause. The victims’ brain experienced chemical imbalances that led to extreme depression and hopelessness. Their perception made them believe this was the only way out.

Warning signs that you or someone you love needs help:

-Talking about feeling hopeless, trapped, or being a burden to others

-Expressing the desire to die

-Increasing drug and alcohol use

-Withdrawing from others or sleeping too much/too little

-Extreme mood swings and/or rage

So how do you get help?

-If there is an active and immediate concern – call 911 or seek care in the Emergency Room. Trained professionals will evaluate you in person, discuss options, and set up a safety plan.

-If you already see a mental health specialist – call your provider and be evaluated.

-Call 988.

What is 988?

A three digit emergency number when you or someone you love is experiencing a mental health crisis or thoughts of suicide. Think of it as a 911 for mental health. It is a 24/7 support line. You can also text 988 or chat via 988lifeline.org.

What happens when you call?

Someone trained in crisis intervention answers. They will offer suicide risk assessment, de-escalation, and emotional support. They may refer/dispatch to a mobile behavioral health crisis team or emergency services.

What else can we do?

Start talking about depression. Even something as simple as checking in on your neighbor – giving a neighbor a call or a visit once a week can make a difference. Chances are if you are experiencing something, there is someone else nearby going through the same thing. #CheckOnYourNeighbor

There is hope. There are many resources available to those suffering from a mental health disease to help them in their healing process. Follow us on Facebook for more information on addressing mental health diseases. And visit our website: kiddercountyhealth.com for videos and additional resources, specifically for rural farmers experiencing depression. You can always call our office at 475-2582 and we can lead you in the right direction on where to get help for you or a loved one.