National Suicide Prevention MonthSeptember is National Suicide Prevention Month and I thought I’d take a moment to discuss how telehealth can help with the challenge. The statistics are frightening. All of NRTRC’s member states have suicide rates above the national average, largely attributable, I think, to the lack of mental health care and remoteness of our citizens. But telehealth can help. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), fully 90% of individuals who die by suicide have diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of death (https://www.afsp.org/news-events/in-the-news/suicide-2015-facts-and-figures-infographic). Telehealth can help our region’s isolated people through tele-mental health care. There are several organizations that provide care to rural and frontier areas through video-conferencing connections. This remote care can help alleviate the significant lack of care providers in the region. If you know someone who is thinking of suicide or are having such thoughts yourself, please don’t delay in asking for help. There are some excellent resources on the AFSP website, above, or check with your local clinic to find help.
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