Someone in the United States attempts suicide every 29 seconds.* Every 11.9 minutes, someone successfully ends their life.
The Four States is no exception. In fact, Missouri loses more lives to suicide than car accidents, yet for many of us, an unspoken code of silence surrounds the issue.
Suicide is a heavy subject, and the stigma attached to mental illness keeps many from talking about their thoughts or feelings. These individuals suffer in silence, and many times, those around them are afraid to ask if they are OK.
It is time to break the code of silence. It is not easy to ask someone directly about suicidal thoughts, but the discomfort of asking is small compared to the pain of having a loved one take their own life.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, our highly-trained mental health professionals can help. Call the Ozark Center Crisis Line at 417.347.7720 or 800.247.0661 for immediate assistance, day or night. You can also send a text message to 720.7.TXTOZK for an anonymous, two-way texting counseling session. Both these services are free of charge.
*American Association of Suicidology
About the Author
Debbie Fitzgerald, EdS, LPC, NCC, is director of crisis services at Ozark Center. She has 33 years of experience in the mental health field, and for the past 30 years, she has served the community through her work at Ozark Center. She has certification from the National Board of Certified Counselors, and crisis worker certification from the American Association of Suicidology.