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National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 8-14.

Approximately 45% of people that die by suicide had contact with primary care providers within one month of suicide.

We cannot predict suicide, but you can identify people who are at increased risk for suicide, take precautions and refer them for effective treatment.

If you have concerns that someone is suicidal, ask the person directly if he or she: (1) is having suicidal thoughts/ideas, (2) has a plan to kill them self, and (3) has access to lethal means.

Asking the question will not increase the person’s suicidal thoughts; it will let them know that you care.

Be willing to listen, get involved, do not be sworn to secrecy and take action. Seek help for the person by calling the local crisis program.

Here are some resources, including 24-hour crisis lines and technical assistance materials:

  • Carver County Mental Health Crisis Program: 952-442-7601. Available 24 hours, seven days a week to provide free and confidential telephone crisis intervention, consultation, referral information and screening for a face to face crisis response. A crisis and suicide risk assessment can be completed in the home or a community location by a licensed mental health professional 24/7.
  • **CRISIS (**274747): State of Minnesota one-number access to the mental health crisis response programs in every county in Minnesota. Geolocation technology is used to locate the mobile crisis response team located near your cell phone location.
  • Text MN to 741741: Free and confidential, 24/7 assistance for people across Minnesota who are experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Lifeline provides free, confidential emotional support and referrals to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funded.
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), Press 1. The Veterans Crisis Line provides free, confidential emotional support and referrals to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, 24 hours a day, seven days a week (SAMHSA funded).
  • Suicide Safe: SAMHSA’s free suicide prevention app helps health care providers integrate suicide prevention strategies into their practice and address suicide risk among their patients. It includes patient and provider educational materials, a treatment locator, sample interactive cases, and conversation starters.
  • Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC): SPRC is the nation’s only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. SPRC provides technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of professionals serving people at risk for suicide.
  • National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention: This public-private partnership advances the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention by championing suicide prevention as a national priority and catalyzing efforts to implement high-priority objectives of the National Strategy. Among the resources it has developed that may be of interest to Health Resources and Services Administration grantees: "A Managers Guide to Suicide Postvention in the Workplace: 10 Action Steps for Dealing with the Aftermath of Suicide"; and "Suicide Prevention and the Clinical Workforce: Guidelines for Training."

Melanie Warm, MSW, LICSW, is supervisor of the Carver and McLeod County Crisis Program.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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