News Article Details

Why should we talk about suicide prevention?

Clarinda Herald-Journal - 9/14/2017

Supported by Southwest Iowa Mental Health Disability Services Region

Suicide rates have been slowing increasing since 2000 especially in the rural areas. In March, 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that geographic disparities can be a risk factor to increased suicide rates. They continue to report that a number of factors such as limited access to mental health care, social isolation, and the opioid overdose epidemic may be a contribution. This means that southwest Iowa is at a higher risk for suicide rates and prevention can be more difficult.

Why should we talk about suicide prevention? September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and preventing a suicide is a difficult task. Suicide prevention needs to incorporate multiple different resources whether this is a positive support system, a mental health professional, online resources, etc. As a mental health professional, one of the most difficult items to assess is suicidal ideation. However, being aware of the resources in our community, statistics, and risks are key to assessing for an individuals safety. NAMI is a great resource for individuals to gather more information about suicide prevention at

Did you know:

In Iowa, suicide the is 9th leading cause of death and the 2nd leading cause of death of adolescents/teens from ages 12-18 years old.

On average, one person dies by suicide every 20 hours in the state of Iowa.

Suicide death rates in Iowa are higher than the national average and Iowa ranks 31/50 for deaths related directly to suicide.

Southwest Iowa has been focusing on improving its response by adding services to help individuals in a mental health crisis. Turning Pointe is a short-term crisis stabilization residential home offering individuals a 3-5 day stay to help gain mental health supports. Turning Pointe may be utilized as an alternative to in-patient hospitalization. Another service is the Hope 4 Iowa Crisis Call Line. The Hope 4 Iowa line is accessible 24 hours a day to individuals, friends, families, and providers. Crisis Counselors help each individual in a crisis with resources in their area for on-going support.

Information was obtained through the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For additional resources or information regarding mental health and suicide, please contact Jessica Coburn at Waubonsie Mental Health Center (712) 542-2388


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