National Suicide Prevention Month Image

September is Suicide Prevention Month

In the healthcare setting it’s easier to think about the patients who might be at risk of suicide than about our peers who might be at risk. But suicidal thoughts effect all groups and occupations. As co-workers, we are in a good position to notice changes that may suggest a team member is contemplating suicide.

Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more of the following warning signs.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or obtaining a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

These warning signs indicate a serious risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new or has increased or is related to a recent, painful event such as a break-up, financial set-back, family disruption or trauma. If you spot one or more warning signs, don’t wait for someone else to act.

The BeThe1To campaign suggests five action steps you can take:

  1. Ask your co-worker, “Are you thinking about suicide?” then listen without judgement.
  2. Keep them safe. If the person has a plan or if they have immediate access to means and intend to take their life, they are in immediate danger and need emergency services.
  3. Be there. Whether in person or on the phone, being there increases connectedness and shows support.
  4. Help them connect, for example, by calling the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255), referring to a mental health provider, reaching out to a counselor or other community or workplace resources.
  5. Follow up. Giving them a call, sending a text, and other forms of contact are an important part of showing support and preventing suicide.

Patients are not the only ones who may be at risk. Our peers in healthcare may be at risk, too. We can help prevent suicide by being aware of these warning signs and by our willingness to act.

LCHC 10 Year Anniversary

Celebrating National Health Center Week – August 12-18

Lawton Community Health Center is celebrating their 10 year anniversary this week. There will be several events taking place all week at each clinic such as patient appreciation day, gourmet popcorn, kids coloring contest, staff appreciation day, snow cones, barbecue, ice cream social and group exercises. On Wednesday all of the staff will be dressed in their favorite Super Hero costumes. So be sure to visit your local clinic, participate in the events and there will be giveaways for everyone.

National Health Center Week 2018 (NHCW) provides an opportunity to visit a Community Health Center and see firsthand why they are now at center stage in a changing health care landscape. This past year, Congress, with strong bipartisan support, invested in health centers, recognizing that a strong community-based system of care where people have easy access to doctors and preventive care will save lives and reduce health care costs.

Health centers like ours in Comanche, Elgin, Lawton and Marlow are part of a nationwide network that is the family doctor to more than 27 million Americans. Our mission to provide affordable options for primary care is well established. What may be lesser known is that we are proven innovators and problem-solvers in treating chronic disease. We look beyond medical charts not only to prevent illness but also address the factors that actually cause poor health, such as poverty, homelessness, substance use, mental illness, lack of nutrition, and unemployment.

“We are happy to be able to provide quality care to this community and throughout Comanche County. Since inception we have provided more than $1.3 million in sliding fee adjustments to make healthcare affordable” said Sean McAvoy, LCHC Executive Director.