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Suicide Rate Higher In Parts Of Northwoods-World Suicide Prevention Day


Today(9/10) is Suicide Prevention Day, with September being Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

A Northwoods professional says it's a good time to help another to save a life.

We asked Heidi Pritzl, Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Ascension-Koller Behavioral Health about what professionals are seeing in the Northwoods... 

"...We have been looking at our local stats and in the Vilas county area where there's a rate of 21.2 percent per 100,000 residents who have completed suicide. That's a high rate compared to the national average..."

Pritzl says if you think someone is considering suicide, action is necessary to possibly save a life...

"...We ask that you never leave that individual alone, to reach out, whether it be their health care provider, somebody they trust or supports them. We have some wonderful resources in the area, such as the crisis line. That number is 888-299-1188 and for our adolescents we have a text HOPE line and they can text 741741 to get any help they need..."

Pritzl the Crisis and Hope lines have 24/7 coverage. She says local providers are trained to provide in recognizing signs to get the individual the help they need.

They are also training people in Vilas, Forest and Oneida counties to help... 

"...is an evidence-based training called QPR,. QPR stands for question, persuade, refer. We have incorporated this health classrooms from 8th grade to 12th grade. We've also reached out to businesses, volunteers, commmunity churches to bring this awareness to our public..."

Pritzl says there's a myth that asking a person about their thoughts and feelings raises the risk of suicide, but she says the fact are it lowers the risk by opening up communication. Pritzl says people who talk about taking their lives should be given help and support right away. There's more information at www.BeThe1To.Com.

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