Uptick in suicides puts spotlight on prevention

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – “We know from research. From decades of research into suicide prevention that 9 out of 10 lives can be saved if we can identify when somebody is having a suicidal crisis and then we can connect that person to meaningful resource or to meaningful treatment,” Eve Nite says.

Nite heads business development at Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital.

“We see adolescents, adults, geriatrics. Anybody that’s having a mental health crisis. Specifically people who are having a suicidal ideation, suicidal behaviors.”

Suicide might happen more than you think.

Recently, DeKalb County, Alabama saw a spike of 5 deaths by suicide in a week.

Suicide is a leading cause of death, according to numbers from the CDC.

It is even more common than homicides.

“The number one barrier for somebody receiving adequate treatment when they’re having a suicidal crisis is stigma,” Nite says.

Nite said that only one out of three people would be willing to tell a friend or family member that they’re in a mental health crisis.

“Simply because of what their friends or family members might say,” she says.

If you notice your loved one is experiencing symptoms like changes in eating, changes in sleep, a sense of hopelessness or talking about death, ask them about it.

“We have QPR when someone is having a mental health crisis. The Q stands for question. Be patient. Just ask, are you okay? Hey, I’ve noticed that you are, I know that you have been under a lot of duress,” Nite says.

P stands for persuade.

Persuade them to get help.

R stands for refer.

Make sure they get connect to treatment.

Nite said that if your loved one refuses to get treatment in a crisis situation call 911 and ask for a CIT officer to respond.

Those officers train on how to handle a crisis situation.

If you are dealing with a crisis, know that there is hope and help available.

Here are some numbers you can call 24/7 to get help:


Triage Line for Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital, 423-498-4650

The SAM Foundation in DeKalb County also provides resources.

Categories: DeKalb County, Featured, Local News

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