According to the Missoula City-County Health Department:
Montana currently has the highest rate of suicide in the United States. In the past ten years, the rate of suicide in Montana is 21.4 per 100,000 people (the national average is 12 per 100,000). Montana has been in the top five for nearly 40 years. Suicide persists as a major public health problem in Missoula County. In 2014, Missoula County had the highest rate on record (33.8 per 100,000), close to three times the national average.
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
880-1013 NAMI Missoula
http://www.namimt.org/stop-suicide-save-a-life.html NAMI Montana
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.
NAMI Missoula also has trained QPR instructors available. Call us at 880-1013 if you would like to schedule training through us.
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. Let’s work together as a community to reach our goal: “SUICIDE: NOT EVEN ONE.”