Resources available for people dealing with depression or suicide

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email
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WICHITA, Kan.--- If you or someone you know is talking about suicide, you can call the local suicide prevention hotline at 316-660-7500 or the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8355.

"Most suicides occur in people who have depression or in people who have depression and anxiety," said Dr. Cheryl Wehler, medical director of the Via Christi Psychiatric Clinic. "We should not be afraid to talk about depression. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It's treatable."

Some symptoms of depression include constantly feeling down, loss of energy, inability to concentrate, and decrease in appetite.

"When patients are depressed, they tend to isolate, so it's very important that you not let them isolate and that you seek help," said Wehler.

Wichita Public Schools have offered the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program, to educate students of resources available if they or someone they know is battling depression or thoughts of suicide.

In addition, the school district has a suicide protocol that provides steps for school employees, who identify students expressing suicidal thoughts. The key message in the protocol is to take every threat seriously.

"Everyone has a local resource," said Kim Baldwin, Heights High School Psychologist. "Whether it's right here in the school building with their school counselor, with their administrator, with a teacher, who just cares about them, that can refer them for some help."

The following is a list of resources:

COMCARE OF Sedgwick County has a 24-hour crisis line where people can call if they suspect an individual is dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts. The hotline's phone is 316-660-7500 and more resources are available by clicking here.

Via Christi's Assessment Center, a special unit outside the Emergency Room at Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph, offers an emergency psychiatric service to assess psychiatric patients to determine the need for inpatient care. If a patient is in need of ongoing inpatient psychiatric treatment, they can be transferred to Via Christi Behavioral Health Center. You can contact the center at 316-689-4850.

National Suicide Prevention Week is scheduled for September 7-13, 2014. To learn about the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program, click here.

For the link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, click here.

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