Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomenewsLocal health expert explains the signs of a mental health crisis

Local health expert explains the signs of a mental health crisis

DAVIESS CO., Ky. (WFIE) – Mental health specialists in Daviess County are speaking out after seeing an alarming number of suicide deaths in just the first few weeks of the new year.

16 days into the new year and suicide rates in Daviess County have already reached 25% of last year’s end of year totals.

“It’s hard out there, groceries are expensive. People have lost homes and live in tents in the river,” explains RonSonlyn Clark, clinical director at Owensboro’s Boulware mission.

14 News spoke with her and she says there is not a single reason as to why.

“Holidays certainly have an impact on it, weather circumstances, the economy. There’s hundreds of reasons why people would contemplate, attempt or even complete suicide.”

One person takes their own life about every eleven minutes, according to the CDC.

“Hopelessness and helplessness are at the bottom of every kind of suicide.”

Signs a loved one could be in trouble will look different for everyone. Clark says to look for sadness and to pay attention to someone withdrawing from family or friends.

“Think about have they lost a job, are they participating in drug use, do they have a financial strain in them, have they recently ended a significant relationship?”

For Clark, the fight against suicide is personal.

“I’ve had a family member to die by suicide. I’ve had family members to attempt suicide.”

She says the best way to move forward is making mental health a part of the discussion at home.

“When the kids ask ‘what is 988, what kind of phone number is that?’ Talk to them about it.”

Knowing what resources are available is important too. Clark says the best place to start is by dialing the nationwide hotline at 988

“It’s a nationwide number. Here locally it’s answered at River Valley Behavioral Health. They have trained clinicians that can help you with resources that are available.”

That hotline can be used to call on behalf of someone. Hesitating to get help, may mean it’s too late.

“Your family member is worth every bit of it. Forget the stigma, forget what people are going to say. They’re going to remember what they did for them.”

Five people may not seem like a significant number, but think of the five families and friends that are now grieving a loved one.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, scan the QR code on our Peace of Mind section.

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