Edmondson: Suicide prevention – One call to 9-8-8 could save a life – Cross Timbers Gazette | Denton County South | mound of flowers

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, increasing by approximately 30% between 2000 and 2018.

A suicide death occurs every 11 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2020, an estimated 45,979 lives were lost by suicide.

However, statistics show that the number of people considering suicide is much higher, with around 12.2 million adults seriously considering it. About 3.2 million people have planned a suicide attempt and another 1.2 million people have attempted suicide.

As the ninth leading cause of death overall and the second leading cause of death among 10-14 year olds and 25-34 year olds, suicide is a serious public health concern.

Although the Denton County Commissioners Court has recognized September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, this issue remains important year-round.

Statistics show that the number of suicides in Denton County also continues to rise.

Pam Gutierrez, Executive Director of Denton County MHMR, shared several grim statistics about suicide in our county. In 2020, a total of 81 suicides were reported. In 2021, there were a total of 98 suicides. Currently, in August 2022, there have been 61 suicides.

In July 2022, 15 people aged 10 to 85 and older committed suicide. In August 2022, 10 people between the ages of 15 and 74 committed suicide, including nine men and one woman.

Suicides were reported countywide in Flower Mound, Highland Village, Lantana, Northlake, Krum, Lewisville, Denton, Frisco and Carrollton in July and August alone.

The facts are grim. Mental health issues push people to a point of desperation where suicide has seemingly become the only viable option for some in our communities.

These numbers are not in a certain demographic group, but spread across all ages. It represents a despair that can strike anyone at any age. Each individual is on a different journey in life, but some face similar factors and situations that affect them to the point of contemplating suicide.

Suicide can be prevented and the Denton County MHMR team is proof of that. They stand ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be available for anyone in need. The recent addition of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline has been an aid in their prevention work.

Established in January 2005, the hotline includes a network of more than 200 crisis centers across the United States that provide 24/7 help to anyone in a suicidal crisis or in emotional distress. By simply dialing 9-8-8, anyone can call for help at any time.

Our Denton County MHMR has also developed a LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) team. LOSS is a program created as a service of Denton County MHMR and the Denton County Medical Examiner’s Office to prevent further suicides in families who have already experienced one. Studies have shown that the risk of suicide is higher among family members or friends who have recently lost a loved one to suicide.

LOSS teams go to the scene of suicides to support families during their time of loss and confusion. Support from the team helps families and friends move through tragedy to a place of healing.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact and call 988.

That one call could save a life – yours or a loved one’s.

Contact Commissioner Dianne Edmondson by email at [email protected] or call him at 972-434-3960. You can also stop by his office at the Southwest Courthouse, 6200 Canyon Falls Drive, Suite 900, Flower Mound.