Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Play

The latest on the PRO Act, which could bring major changes to labor law, especially in "right-to-work" states; and COVID spikes result in new mandates.

Play

Travel restrictions are extended as Delta variant surges; some public-sector employers will mandate vaccines; President Biden says long-haul COVID could be considered a disability; and western wildfires rage.

ND Suicide Prevention Hotline Providing Vital Service

Play

Wednesday, November 21, 2018   

FARGO, N.D. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says North Dakota has seen a disturbing spike in its suicide rate over the past two decades.

FirstLink maintains the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in North Dakota and has been on the front lines of helping people in need.

The nonprofit group has seen numbers for suicide-related calls increase dramatically in recent years, from about 2,500 in 2016 to more than 6,500 in 2017.

But Cindy Miller, FirstLink’s executive director, says fortunately her service only had to dispatch law enforcement on 45 occasions last year. She says it's amazing how much of a difference listening can make.

"Our area law enforcement have been doing a great job with that, referring people when they're at lower risk of suicide to be able to call us – just so that someone can talk to them and they can listen to them, make a safe plan and make sure they're going to be OK," she relates.

Last month, Farmers Union Insurance made a $20,000 donation to FirstLink. Farmers and ranchers have been under growing stress, and suicide has become a bigger issue for these communities.

FirstLink also has a 24-hour follow-up program for people who recently have been discharged from a hospital or public health facility.

Follow-up calls have been on the rise as well, increasing from 1,150 in 2016 to more than 4,800 in 2017.

Miller says those numbers are on track to double this year. She says suicide prevention hotlines and other mental health services provide a great resource, but she also hopes people can begin to talk about this issue in their lives.

"It's OK to say, 'I know right now you're going through maybe a loss of a loved one or a loss of job or loss of crop or things that you're struggling with,’” she says. “’Sometimes when people go through those sort of things, they think of suicide. Are you thinking of it?' And it's amazing how much relief there is to someone."

FirstLink provides 24-hour crisis intervention and can also direct people to services such as food assistance, support groups and emergency safe shelters.

FirstLink’s number is 211. Folks can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline through the 211 number or at 1-800-273-TALK.


get more stories like this via email

Smoke from the Bootleg fire in southern Oregon is blowing across Idaho and as far east as New York. (National Interagency Fire Center/Flickr)

Environment

BOISE, Idaho -- Wildfires are affecting air quality across the West, bringing hidden dangers in smoke that can harm people's health. The Boise-based …


Social Issues

DENVER -- The days of exponentially high increases in health-insurance costs may finally be in the rearview mirror. The Colorado Division of …

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Cultural institutions in the U.S. are facing scrutiny to be more accessible and inclusive. The organization in charge of Iowa's …


Electrifying heat pumps are key to lowering the carbon cost of buildings. (SkyLine/Adobe Stock)

Environment

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Last month's deadly heat wave in the Northwest underscored the need to reduce carbon emissions, but advocates want to ensure low-…

Social Issues

MINOT, N.D. -- Many arguments are being floated about legislation before Congress that would bring big changes to U.S. labor laws. The bill has its …

Studies show Medicaid expansion could reduce costs for Missouri's health-care system as a whole, by getting more patients preventive care, which is less expensive than emergency care. (torwaiphoto/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Health-care advocates called on Missouri lawmakers to allocate funds for Medicaid expansion right away, after the state …

Social Issues

AUGUSTA, Maine -- School meals in Maine will be free for all students again this year and into the future, but parents are being urged to fill out …

Environment

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A report outlines how federal efforts to bring solar energy to one in four American households could bring clean energy to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021