This event is being sponsored by Support After Suicide, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and United Indian Health Services (UIHS). Community sponsors include Humboldt Area Foundation, Sports World, Paul Nicholson State Farm Insurance, Humboldt Roller Derby, Scrapper’s Edge, His Glorious Rub Massage, and Humboldt State University’s Social Work Student Association.
Check-in time is 1 p.m. and the walk starts at 2 p.m. For more information about the walk, call Kathy at (707) 839-3349 or Kris at (707) 441-5554 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
”Walking Toward Awareness” is just one of several events planned in September to increase knowledge of and provide information about suicide prevention, said Kris Huschle, health education specialist with DHHS’ Public Health.
”Suicide is a serious community health problem,” Huschle said. “Suicide and suicidal behavior affect individuals of all ages, genders, races and religions.”
This month’s activities are being held in conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 9-15. Listed below are some of the other events planned:
Sept. 8: Humboldt PRIDE Festival and Parade will take place from noon to 5 p.m. at Halvorsen Park in Eureka. Music and educational activities and HIV and hepatitis C testing
Sept. 10: World Suicide Prevention Day. Applebee’s, 2846 Broadway, Eureka will sponsor a fundraiser from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to promote suicide prevention awareness. Proceeds go to Support After Suicide.
Sept. 11: The board of supervisors will issue a proclamation at 9 a.m. in the supervisors’ chambers on the first floor of the Humboldt County Courthouse, 825 Fifth St., Eureka.
Sept. 12: Brown bag lunch and digital stories will be screened and discussed with the Humboldt County Transition Age Youth Collaboration at the Community Wellness Center, 908 7th St. Eureka. Call Kris for more information at (707) 441-5554.
Sept. 13 and 14: “Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Professional Building, 507 F St. Eureka.
Sept. 15: UIHS Suicide Prevention Awareness Walk will be held noon to 3 p.m. at Potawot Health Village, 1600 Weeot Way, Arcata. For more information contact, Christina Casarez at (707) 825-5060
Huschle says the stigma associated with suicide often discourages someone who is thinking about suicide from seeking help.
”Attitudes and beliefs around suicide can also make it difficult for us to ask someone we are concerned about if they are having thoughts of suicide,” she said. “As a community, we can build support for help-seeking, increase our knowledge of community supports and understand some common warning signs for suicide. Most people don’t really want to die; they just want their pain to end.”
She adds there are numerous warning signs of suicide. They include:
o Talking about wanting to die
o Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
o Talking about being a burden to others
o Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
o Withdrawing or feeling isolated
o Displaying extreme mood swings
o Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
If someone is showing signs of suicide:
o Don’t leave the person alone
o Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
Call the National Suicide Prevention Liveline at 800-273-8255 or the Humboldt County Mental Health Crisis Line (707) 445-7715 (toll-free, 888-849-5728)
Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.
For more information, call Kris Huschle at the Humboldt County DHHS, Prevention and Early Intervention, Suicide Prevention Program at (707) 441-5554.