Avera Medical Minute: Suicide awareness and prevention

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 5:48 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The topic weighs heavy on some hearts that have had a loved one die by suicide. With September 5 beginning a national week of awareness for suicide prevention, Avera psychiatrist Dr. Matt Stanley discussed why this year is particularly important to have the right conversations before it’s too late. He says current statistics tell a compelling story about our need for more action. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people age 10 to 34 and is preceded by accidents,134 Americans die every day by suicide, Native Americans and Caucasian males make up a large portion of suicides locally, and those with access to guns have substantially higher rates of suicide. The fastest-growing demographic is girls ages 10-14 committing suicide.

Our rural communities need help as well.

Farmers and ranchers are integral to our area’s economy, but the profession can be incredibly stressful. Dr. Stanley says often these people are pillars in our communities, well known, and isolated in small towns. All reasons that he encourages people to access resources such as the Avera Farm and Rural Stress Hotline and Helpline Center.

“It seems to me the last four or five years have been uniquely stressful compared to the last couple of decades.”

According to the latest drought monitor, conditions have improved overall in the region thanks to an abundance of rain this week, but some areas are still in an extreme drought.

Avera phoneline for 24/7 assessment: 605-322-4065

Helpline: 211

Avera Farm and Rural Stress Hotline: 1-800-691-4336

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