Suicide prevention: Find someone who can listen3 min read
DJ Suss D: On Saturday, Oct. 1, there was an all-day punk show benefit for mental health awareness at Washington Jefferson Skate Park. All profits were donated to the Ben Moody and Silas Strimple Memorial Fund. It was organized by Radical Alternative Development and sponsored by the Teen Empowerment Program of the city of Eugene.
[00:00:22] I spoke with Del Quest of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Lane County, who was tabling at the event.
[00:00:30] Del Quest: My name’s Del Quest, and I work for Lane County Public Health in suicide prevention.
[00:00:34] DJ Suss D: All right. So what is the state of mental health care right now in Eugene?
[00:00:38] Del Quest: Mental health care is very taxed here. It’s underfunded, it’s overwhelmed, and I feel like we need more mental health providers.
[00:00:48] DJ Suss D: And why do we need more mental health care?
[00:00:51] Del Quest: You know, our youth, I work especially with youth in Lane County, and they’re struggling with their mental health on a lot of levels, and for a lot of reasons.
[00:01:00] And so having access, easier access to mental health would be really helpful for them. I would say a lot of it is systemic. I would think it’s, you know, pressures at school and it’s pressures in just kind of daily life. And so they’re struggling with some external factors as well as perhaps, Just some normal factors that you struggle with.
[00:01:20] They’re just kind of focusing on what’s right on their plates right now, which is just high school and getting through those kinds of things, watching their families struggle and just kind of day-to-day stuff.
[00:01:30] DJ Suss D: Well, what about the future of the planet?
[00:01:34] Del Quest: I think that a lot of folks really are stressed about that and thinking about climate change and other kind of situations that need to be fixed that we don’t have a lot of control over.
[00:01:45] DJ Suss D: All right. And so what does Suicide Prevention of Lane County Coalition do?
[00:01:49] Del Quest: So our Suicide Prevention Coalition does a lot of education with mental health providers, schools, educators. We’re working with lots of different facets of the community to provide education about mental health and suicide awareness and how to support somebody who’s experiencing suicidal ideation,
[00:02:07] And then we do other projects that are supportive of people with lived experience and just anything we can do to bring awareness to suicide prevention.
[00:02:16] DJ Suss D: All right, and so what does someone do if they’re feeling suicidal?
[00:02:19] Del Quest: The first thing to do is ask for help and find somebody who can listen and support you, and then reach out for some mental health care, if that’s available. But the primary one is to make connection with somebody who cares with you.
[00:02:30] The easiest access right now for people is the number 988, which is a suicide prevention hotline, and people can connect to services through that and then they can also go to our website and look for resources. The website is SuicidePreventLane.org and on our page there, we’ve got a list, an extensive list of resources.
[00:02:52] DJ Suss D: All right. Anything else you want to say about suicide prevention?
[00:02:54] Del Quest: Just that I’m really glad for events like this to help raise awareness and get people talking about it. Cause there’s a lot of stigma around it still that we need to get rid of. And having an event like this where people are just really engaging in the conversation is one of the primary steps to making some changes.
[00:03:11] DJ Suss D: All right. Thanks very much for your time. For KEPW Weekly News, I’m DJ Suss D.