Mental Health Awareness Month: How one Lincoln County group is working to prevent suicide
One Lincoln County organization is working to get suicide resources to the community this May.
Lincoln County Preventing ATODS (alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and suicide) Abuse Coalition is a collaborative group with the goal to “provide resources, education, and advocacy for mental health and substance abuse prevention.” The coalition has two groups, one based in Star Valley and the other based in Kemmerer.
“That’s one thing that people need to understand when it comes to suicide,” said Brittany Ritter, director of ATODS. “It is not discriminatory, it affects anybody and everybody.”
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, the suicide rate in Wyoming is double the rate of the national average. Someone dies from suicide in the state every 2 days.
Ritter notes warning signs to look for in those that may be contemplating suicide. They include an increase in alcohol or drug use, disengaging with hobbies and the community, talking about feeling like a burden, isolating themselves, changes in sleep patterns, and mood changes.
ATODS is offering two trainings in Lincoln County. The QPR (Question. Persuade. Refer.) training is an hour-long class on suicide recognition, prevention, and intervention. Another learning opportunity is the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, It is a two-day in-depth training.
“They are available to anybody and everybody in Lincoln County and outlying counties,” Ritter said.
The state suicide prevention lifeline can be reached 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK or by texting WYO to 741741. Safe2TellWy.org is a reporting resource also available in Wyoming. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached by calling 800-273-8255.