In Wyoming, we value grit, independence, unconditional cowboy toughness. And in many situations, pulling up your bootstraps and getting it done is the best solution – but not when it comes to mental health. Wyoming consistently has one of the nation’s highest annual suicide rates, and many mental health experts explain this tragic phenomenon by our unwillingness to ask for help. This mentality is costing us hundreds of lives every year. Let’s make Casper a safe place to ask for and give help. All it takes is an ear and knowing the right resources, which are listed here.
Suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility, and how we talk about suicide matters. In a community where we’re all neighbors in a state with the nation’s highest per capita suicide rate, nearly everyone in Natrona County has been directly impacted by suicide. It’s crucial that we talk about it openly, honestly, and responsibly.
Here are a few guidelines to help steer a healthy, productive conversation after we lose someone to suicide:
Don’t: Use the term ‘commit suicide.’ Nobody ‘commits’ cancer or a car accident, and suicide isn’t a crime.
Do: Say someone ‘died by suicide.’
Don’t: Say that the suicide happened without warning, even if you believe it did.
Do: Emphasize that suicide is preventable. List warning signs.
Don’t: Sensationalize or romanticize suicide.
Do: Focus on the death of the person and only mention suicide when the cause of death is relevant.
Don’t: Describe the suicide method.
Do: Focus on recognizing the causes of suicide, like depression, substance use and other mental illness.
Don’t: Mention suicide without providing professional resources.
Do: Direct people to the Suicide Crisis Text Line (text WYO to 741-741), the National Suicide Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK, parents, counselors, police, teachers, etc.
Don’t: Be afraid to say something.
In 2022, there was a 22% drop in suicides in Wyoming. It is the first time the Wyoming’s suicide rate has dropped since 2018.
We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
Every texter is connected with a Crisis Counselor, a real-life human being trained to bring texters from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening and collaborative problem solving.
Our trained counselors are here to support you 24/7. If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the Trevor Lifeline now.