By Toby Guevin | Special to Moonshine Ink

Like many of us, you or your family may have been touched by someone who died by suicide or has had thoughts of suicide. It may be someone you’ve identified with from afar whose death draws national headlines, or it may be someone much closer to home. You are not alone.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 4% of all people in the U.S. experience thoughts of suicide in a given year. The stigma surrounding suicide keeps many people from asking for help, and it also keeps from the minds of those close to someone with suicidal thoughts the possibility that they could be struggling.

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Most people experiencing thoughts of suicide will never act on their thoughts and only a very small percentage will die by suicide. Still, we continue to lose too many loved ones to suicide. It is the goal of the Tahoe Truckee Suicide Prevention Coalition — a team of organizations, agencies, and individuals working locally to prevent suicide in Tahoe/Truckee — to reduce the number of suicides through public education and training.

Research tells us there are actions people can take to help prevent suicide. In Tahoe/Truckee, we are fortunate to have many local and national resources to support people experiencing thoughts of suicide. These resources include both in-person support and crisis lines, text lines, and other online services.

Research has also shown that crisis lines save lives Local and national crisis lines are available to support people experiencing thoughts of suicide.

The following local hotlines are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

Call Sierra Community House Helpline, (800) 736-1060, and Nevada County Local Crisis Line, (530) 265-581, for phone counseling and connections to additional local crisis and mental health supports.

The National Suicide Lifeline is also available 24/7 at (800) 273-8255.

In addition to the primary lifeline, it also provides specialized lifeline services for veterans by calling
(800) 272-8255 and pressing option 1, and for Spanish speakers at (888) 628-9454.

There are also connections to other resources on its website:
suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Between July 2018 and June 2019, nearly 1,000 callers from Nevada County reached out to the National Suicide Lifeline looking for help, including more than 300 veterans. It’s a positive sign that more people are reaching out for help, since it can save a life.

For individuals interested in learning more about the signs of suicide and how to support friends and family who might be struggling, Nevada County Public Health offers free suicide prevention trainings, from a one-hour introduction to the signs of suicide to a two-day intensive course on suicide intervention. Information on the signs of suicide are also available on the state’s Know the Signs website, suicideispreventable.org.

The pain and loss that can lead someone to consider suicide are real, as is the stigma that keeps so many from accessing life-saving resources. Thankfully, there are ways we can try to help — by learning about the signs of suicide and the resources available to help those in our community who are struggling.

To learn more about suicide prevention resources, contact Toby Guevin, suicide prevention coordinator with Nevada County Public Health at toby.guevin@co.nevada.ca.us or go to the Tahoe Truckee Suicide Prevention Coalition website, tahoelifeline.org.

SUICIDE PREVENTION RESOURCES
WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE

• Talking about death or suicide

• Seeking methods of self-harm

• Changes in mood

• Changes in behavior

• Expressions of hopelessness, desperation and despair

• Putting affairs in order

CRISIS LINES:

Sierra Community House Helpline: (800) 736-1060

Nevada County Local Crisis Line: (530) 265-5811

CA Youth Crisis Line:
(800) 843-5200

National Suicide Lifeline:
(800) 273-8255
(Press 1 for the Veteran Crisis Line)

National Suicide Lifeline en Español: (888) 628-9454

The Trevor Project Lifeline (LGBTQ+): (866) 488-7386

TEXT LINES:

National Crisis Text Line:
Text “HOME” to 741741

Veteran Crisis Text Line:
Text to 838255

ONLINE RESOURCES, INCLUDING CRISIS CHAT LINES:

Tahoe Truckee Suicide Prevention Coalition: tahoelifeline.org

National Suicide Lifeline: suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Veterans Crisis Line: veteranscrisisline.net

The Trevor Project: thetrevorproject.org

Know the Signs: suicideispreventable.org

Nevada County Public Health Suicide Prevention:
mynevadacounty.com/2918/16101/Suicide-Prevention

~ Toby Guevin is a suicide prevention coordinator with Nevada County Public Health and a member of the Tahoe Truckee Suicide Prevention Coalition.


Illustration by Sarah Miller /Moonshine Ink

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