Blog Post

Preventing Suicide is Everyone’s Responsibility

September 27, 2021

Debbie Fitzgerald, Ozark Center Director of Crisis Services
We all face stress every day, but when the stress becomes intense or chronic, it can become a crisis and the stress can seem almost unbearable.

Anything can constitute a crisis in the right circumstances, but common crises include job loss, health problems, natural disasters or changes in personal relationships.

When going through a crisis, you may experience:

  • Fear and worry about yourself or your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs

You may be able to use key stress reducers to bring your stress under control. Some things you can try at home include:

  • Using relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, stretching and meditation
  • Engaging in a hobby and trying to do something daily that you enjoy
  • Talking to loved ones or friends when stress builds
  • Getting enough sleep and eating a balanced diet on a regular basis
  • Exercising daily and taking time to play with your children and pets

Everyone struggles from time to time. If stress, anxiety or depression interfere with daily activities, though, consider seeking help from a mental health professional.

Any time our emotions interfere with our daily living, our sleep or our ability to enjoy satisfying relationships, it is best to seek support or guidance from a professional. On average, many people delay seeking help for months or years, essentially causing significant life disruption during this period. Some may progress to the point of considering suicide as an option to escape the pain of living.

A person dies by suicide every 11.1 minutes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is in the top ten causes of deaths for adults and the second leading cause of death for 10- to 34-year-olds. The CDC reports suicide rates increased 33% between 1999 and 2019, with a small decline in 2019.

“No other type of death increases risk of suicide for survivors, impacts everyone universally, and is also the most preventable cause of death,” said Vicky Mieseler, Ozark Center Chief Administrative Officer. “Preventing suicide is everyone’s responsibility. Please join us in becoming an advocate for suicide prevention.  Education and awareness can eliminate suicide as a cause of death for any age group. Learning how to talk to someone and understanding the warning signs of suicide might prevent someone you love from dying by suicide.”

Ozark Center has both in-person and telehealth services, which enable you to have your appointment with your Ozark Center provider on your laptop, tablet or phone. For more information or to make an appointment for either type of service, call 417.347.7600.

If you need immediate help, you can reach the 24/7 Crisis Services hotline by calling 417.347.7070 or texting “REGISTER” to 720.7.TXTOZK. The crisis staff is ready to provide assessments, interventions and referral services for both individuals and families, as well as provide training and consultations to healthcare providers, educators and community leaders. All crisis services are free and strictly confidential.