Ways to get help in the Verde Valley

VERDE VALLEY- Every year over 800,000 people worldwide die from suicide. In the United States, every 13 minutes, someone takes his or her own life. There are over 1,000 suicides in Arizona each year, according to the End to Suicide in Arizona 2015 State Plan.

Three of the top 15 cities in America for the highest suicide rate are in Arizona. According to Business Insider, the cities include, Phoenix at number 14, Mesa at six, and Tucson at three.

September is Suicide Prevention Month. Arizona's Governor, Doug Ducey, declared September Teen Suicide Prevention Awareness Month earlier this month.

"All Arizonans can be a part of the fight against teen suicide, and I encourage everyone to do so. Any effort that could save one or multiple lives is an effort worthwhile," said Ducey on his website.  

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention states that the suicide rate in Arizona is 39 percent higher than the national average. The national average is 17.1 suicides per 100,000 people. The average for women is 7.7 per 100,000 people. Men are more than three times that amount at 26.6 per 100,000 people.

The Vice Mayor of Clarkdale, Richard Dehnert, is an advocate for mental health. Most suicides coincide with depression, which is a disease that is treatable, said Dehnert.

"It is important to recognize the symptoms of depression. If you know someone suffering with depression or substance abuse, you should encourage them to go to some sort of class or therapy," said Dehnert.

Dehnert is affiliated with Spectrum Healthcare's mental health area. Spectrum Healthcare has a crisis hotline people can call if they are struggling. The phone number is 928-634-2236. Dehnert encourages anyone who is suffering from depression or substance abuse to go to the doctor for counsel.

Camp Verde Town Council recently joined forces with the Mental Health Coalition Verde Valley. Council member Brad Gordon is the council representative for the coalition. He said a few years ago the town condemned a home because it was deemed unsafe. A mentally unstable women lived in the house, and there wasn't any kind of resource for the town to use to help her.

"I'm working with different parts of the community to come up a place for people to use as an information hub," said Gordon.

The Mental Health Coalition Verde Valley recently put up a sign at Midgely Bridge in Sedona. The sign has a suicide crisis hotline phone number on it; 928-634-2236. The words encourage anyone that is at the bridge to end their life to call the hotline for help.

Call the crisis hotline for help fighting mental illness or thoughts of suicide.

-Follow Aryssa Carvalho on Twitter @aryssamashon and on Facebook.com/cvbugle


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