Tuesday, October 20, 2020
St. Luke’s Psychologist to Offer Understanding of Suicide
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Getting out in nature, as Virginia Kraft did on this backpacking trip to Betty, Goat and Baptie lakes, is touted as one tool in the fight against suicidal ideation. PHOTO: Mark Moreland
   
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Idaho’s suicide rate has not increased to record levels during the coronavirus pandemic, as some thought might happen. In fact, there have been fewer suicides in 2020 so far than those recorded in 2018.

But Idaho still has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, ranking fifth among all states according to the most recent statistics compiled in 2017.

And health authorities are mindful of the additional stress people are going through right now.

Nationally, depression has increased fourfold with a quarter of those reporting trauma-like symptoms related to COVID-19. Anxiety has increased, as well, as COVID, racial tensions, threats from wildfire, hurricanes and other natural disasters, concerns about mail delivery and, of course, the looming election ramp up.

St. Luke’s is holding a free educational webinar, “Reduce the Stigma: Gaining a Better Understanding of the Issue of Suicide,” to help the community best support loved ones who may be suffering thoughts of suicide.

The hour-long webinar will be hosted by St. Luke’s psychologist, Dr. Christopher Edwards, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24. To register, go to https://www.stlukesonline.org/communities-and-locations/classes-and-events/reduce-the-stigma

Participants will learn how to more comfortably talk about the issue of suicide, identify who may be at risk and find out specific signs to watch for.  And they’ll learn what they can do to help someone experiencing suicidal ideation.

Those who need treatment should contact their primary care or behavioral health care provider. Or, call or text the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 208-398-4357.

 

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