Note: NAMI Missoula is not a crisis line and does not provide crisis counseling or intervention. In a mental health crisis, please use the resources listed below.
June 13, 2018: The following is from Heidi Kendall at the Missoula County Health Department.
Last week brought discouraging news for us in Montana. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a report saying that Montana has the highest suicide rate in the nation, and that suicide rates have been climbing across the country for decades. We also got news of two high profile Americans taking their own lives. Every suicide, whether public or private, is a painful reminder that people from all walks of life, including very successful people, can have depression. People with depression may not know they have an illness and may not reach out to get the professional help and support they need. It is also a painful reminder of the persistent stigma around mental illness.
Sometimes a person who is considering suicide is not aware that help is available. For immediate help, suicide crisis resources are available here. Any one of us who might need immediate support can call 1-800-273-8255, or text “MT” to 741 741, for free, confidential, 24/7 support.
Missoula County and our Project Tomorrow Montana partners will continue to lead community efforts through free suicide prevention classes and gun locks available by request. We also want to erase the stigma of mental illness in partnership with NAMI Missoula through NAMI’s “Cure Stigma” campaign. We want people to know that there are resources to help. Our aim is to support each other and all members of our community.
Please share this information with others. You can be the one who provides this important information to someone who needs it.
Suicide is simultaneously a public health issue, a mental health issue, and the single most preventable form of death. Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding this issue leaves people unwilling to discuss it or to learn simple, basic interventions that can help save a life. Most people considering suicide do not want to die; they want their pain to stop.
Most suicides are completed by firearm. It is very important to lock up or remove guns (and other lethal means such as pills) to keep them away from a suicidal individual. Always err on the side of caution: better safe than tragically sorry.
In Missoula, suicide prevention resources include:
911 for all emergencies
258-3881 Missoula County Suicide Prevention Office
1-800-273-8255 Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Text Line: Text “MT” to 741-741)
532-9710 Missoula Crisis Response Team (mental health professionals)
327-3200 Providence Center
327-3034 Providence “Urgent Care” clinic
543-7271 St. Patrick Hospital
258-4789 Partnership Health Center
728-4100 Community Medical Center
The Missoula County Health Department offers free training in “QPR” (Question, Persuade, and Refer), a nationally-recognized suicide prevention program: think of QPR as the mental health equivalent of CPR. The training takes only 60-90 minutes and is led by trained, certified instructors. It’s available to community groups of all sizes, and it can be tailored to audiences of different ages; please contact Heidi Kendall at 258-3881 to schedule training.
If you think someone is considering suicide, ask them: “Are you suicidal?” or “Are you thinking of killing yourself?” Offer them hope. Tell someone else (NO SECRETS WHEN IT COMES TO SUICIDE). Don’t leave the person alone. Take them to the ER or call 911. Remember to lock up guns and pills.
Even one life lost to suicide is one life too many; no one has to die this way. Let’s work together as a community to reach our goal: “SUICIDE: NOT EVEN ONE.”
Note: NAMI Missoula is not a crisis line and does not provide crisis counseling or intervention. In a mental health crisis, please use the resources listed above.