I truly cannot imagine what it takes to make an individual want to end their life, but I know there is a level of pain and sorrow that does drive people to this ultimate conclusion.
In the last few years in our community we have lost too many of our friends and family members to the awful effect of suicide. At the end of June 2013 we had 12 suicides already in our community, which exceeded all of 2012. Over the last 18 months, 24 very precious, important people are no longer with us. They have left behind family members who ask why and friends who feel somehow responsible. "I should have done something", or "I should have helped in some way" are the questions we are all left asking ourselves. Of course the most basic question we all ask is "Why?"
Suicide. The very word is distasteful, so I try at all costs to avoid using it. But that is denial on my part of how real this problem is in our community of Campbell County, and in fact the entire State of Wyoming. Wyoming ranks No. 1 in the country for deaths by suicide, and it is the fifth leading cause of death in our state. We all struggle with the difficulties of life: its strains, stresses, and sorrows. For the sake of our children and all who suffer from dealing with these most difficult life issues, we must act.
Basin Radio Network, Campbell County Health,
Campbell County School District,
Campbell County Suicide Prevention Coalition, and
The Mattie Project have recognized the need in our community to change this disturbing trend. Over the next year, we are partnering to spread the word that
Life is Beautiful and Suicide is Preventable. I hope all of you will listen for these radio spots, sponsored generously by Basin Radio, and help others you might know connect with the
resources in our community that are available to change this tragic statistic. Remember, Life is Beautiful and Suicide is Preventable. It's true and there are resources to help all of us find answers.
For more information about learning to recognize the signs of suicide, visit ccmh.net/preventsuicide. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.