By Kalli Sanders, HQ Counselor, Peer Support Counselor, and Administrative Coordinator (hey, we all wear a lot of hats around there)
I work at a suicide prevention crisis line. I’m also a mom. Like all parents, I’m horrified at the thought of somehow losing my child. We promote seatbelts and street safety. We talk about safety at home and in public. Our kids have lockdown drills at school to prepare for active shooters. Yet, it’s suicide that is the 2nd leading cause of death for kids ages 10-24. Continue reading “Parenting from an HQ counselor perspective”
Safety is certainly a concept on the minds of many as we navigate a global pandemic. Our current moment highlights how a crisis, at a minimum, discombobulates us and leaves us feeling out of sorts. Instead of feeling calm and collected we might be figuratively filling the car with toilet paper or denying the fact that there is a problem in the first place (maybe this analogy is just too literal). The point is that planning for safety doesn’t have to be a reactionary response or an afterthought.
Now, safety planning as it relates to suicide prevention and intervention isn’t the same as getting ready for a global pandemic like a doomsday-prepper, but it does entail the same basic principle; if we thoughtfully prepare and plan for a crisis, then the outcome can be improved and the intensity of the experience can be reduced.
Safety planning is a preventative strategy for managing individual suicide risk and mental health crises. It is something we can do for ourselves or collaboratively with a loved one or mental health/ healthcare professional. Using basic strategies and thinking about and writing out a plan, we’re working to recognize existing protective factors and reduce risk factors during a crisis.
Several years ago, Headquarters was restructured to include additional programs outside of the counseling center. The new organization name was Headquarters, Inc., the “parent organization,” (or “umbrella,” if you will) of Headquarters Counseling Center, the Kansas Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and future programs, partnerships, and opportunities to serve where there is a community need.
Agriculture, Farmers and Ranchers specifically, remain the group with one of the highest rates of suicide. If you know anyone in the in the AG community, learn the warning signs of suicide. If you’re concerned that someone you know may be considering suicide, use this guide to talk to them.
Of course, if you need any help or you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. As your local Lifeline Crisis Center, your call will come to Headquarters first. If for any reason we are unable to answer, your call will “roll” to another crisis center.