EUGENE, Ore. — Sunday was day one of National Suicide Prevention Week, which is when organizations across the country work to increase awareness and skills in responding to those at risk of suicide.
Suicide has been recognized nationally, statewide and locally as a public health problem. In Lane County alone over the last few years, suicide rates have been 32% higher than the national average.
Every 16 minutes, someone in the U.S. takes their own life. Lane County Suicide Prevention Committee Co-Chair Darlene Baker has been working for nearly a decade trying to help others avoid what she went through. Blindsided by the loss of her own daughter, she believes everyone needs to open their eyes and acknowledge that suicide is a possibility for everyone.
“Anyone’s at risk. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter what kind of family you come from. It doesn’t matter what your economics are. Anyone is susceptible to becoming depressed and untreated depression can lead to suicide,” said Baker.
This week coordinators are spreading the word about free trainings to educate folks about the warning signs of suicide. The trainings will be held regularly throughout the fall. The first training will be on September 15th at the Lane County Health and Human Services building on West 7th.