South Heartland District Health Department Focusing on Suicide Prevention This Month

HASTINGS – The South Heartland District Health Department is focusing on suicide prevention this month. With the holiday season right around the corner they want to remind people that these can be very stressful times for some people. About one in every ten people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder this time of year.

The Health Department wants people to learn about three acronyms; S.A.V.E, Q.P.R, and R U OK. S.A.V.E stands for signs, ask, validate, and encourage. Q.P.R means question, persuade, and refer. And then R U OK is just about asking people about how they are doing.

Michele Bever, executive director of the South Heartland District Health Department, says suicide is an issue across the country and right here in South Central Nebraska.

There is a need for us to reach out. There are really too many nine through twelth graders, about 35% or 1 in every 3 students have felt sad or hopeless for two or more weeks in a row, that they stopped doing some of their usual activities, 20% have seriously considered attempting suicide, 16% have made a plan about how they would attempt suice, and 11% have actually attempted suicide. 

Veterans can suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder as well and Bever says to be sure to be checking in on any veterans you may know. For more information you can visit SouthHeartlandHealth.org.

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