BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — September marks National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The Central Oregon Suicide Prevention Alliance and community partners are coordinating several activities throughout the month to raise awareness and work to prevent suicide attempts and deaths in Deschutes County.
Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States, with one suicide occurring on average every 11 minutes. Suicide is among the top 10 causes of death for all Oregonians and is the second leading cause of death among Oregon youth between the ages of 10 and 24.
Historically, in Deschutes County, one person commits suicide every week. What we do know is that one death by suicide is too many. Early recognition of warning signs and early intervention can save lives.
The activities planned for this week will raise awareness in our community to address this important public health issue and promote hope and healing.
Please participate in one or more of the opportunities listed below to support suicide survivors in our community, learn about resources and mental wellness, and learn more about how to help or support yourself. someone you love. Visit www.preventsuicideco.org for more information.
● Building resilience through mindfulness
- Wednesday, September 7, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Bend Downtown Public Library, Brooks Room (601 NW Wall Street, Bend, OR 97703)
- Join Mindfulness and Resilience Instructor Lisa Brown for a family-friendly community event that focuses on building and supporting health through learning and practicing new skills. Build Resiliency Thru Mindfulness is a FREE one-hour class open to all ages. Register on www.preventsuicideco.org.
● Candlelight Vigil
- Thursday, September 8, 7-8 p.m., Bend-La Pine Schools Education Center Front Lawn, 520 NW Wall Street, Bend
- This event is for anyone who has lost a loved one or been affected by suicide. The vigil includes music, a candle lighting ceremony and a local survivor who will share their story. Attendees will have the opportunity to light a candle to honor their loved one as the sun sets. We respectfully ask the media not to attend this event in order to respect the privacy of participants. This event will be available in English and Spanish.
● Walk out of darkness
- Saturday, September 10, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Alpenglow Park, Bend OR
- Organized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and supported by the Central Oregon Suicide Prevention Alliance, the Out of the Darkness Walk is intended to give people the courage to open up about their own connections to the cause, and a platform form to create a culture that can help reduce mental health stigma. Friends, family, neighbors and colleagues walk side by side, supporting each other and remembering those we have lost. Register at: https://supporting.afsp.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=8771
● Community QPR (question, persuade, refer)
- Monday September 19, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. Bend Downtown Public Library, Brooks Room (601 NW Wall Street, Bend, OR 97703)
- QPR is a 1.5 hour factual introduction to suicide prevention training. This free training teaches the framework for participants to recognize the warning signs, directly ask questions about suicide, persuade someone to access resources, and then direct them to the appropriate resources. This training is open to participants aged 18 and over. Register on www.preventsuicideco.org
If you or someone you love is struggling with suicidal thoughts, help is a phone call or a click away:
● Deschutes County Crisis Line: 541-322-7500 ext 9
● National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: 988 (text or call)
● National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
● Central Oregon Suicide Prevention Alliance resource page: www.preventsuicideco.org
● If you are 55 or older and feel isolated or just want to have a friendly chat, call the Senior Loneliness Line at 503-200-1633.
● If you’re 21 or younger and want help with any problem, big or small, text teen2teen at 839863 or call YouthLine at 1-877-968-8491.