Several Lubbock agencies ready to help those considering suicide - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/31/10

Several Lubbock agencies ready to help those considering suicide

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By Michael Slother - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The rescue of a woman from an interstate bridge on Monday, prompted us to look into the resources available to those in crisis. There are several agencies ready to help when you need it most.

Monday, people stuck in traffic on I-27 watched in horror as a woman threatened to end her life. According to Annette Gary with Lubbock MHMR, it's a growing concern.

"We have seen a slight increase in Lubbock which mimics what you see nationwide of people with suicidal gestures or have called us in crisis."

She said they get calls at least once a week from someone considering suicide and there are all sorts of reasons why.

"When you've lost your job or your family and you do feel hopeless, that to some people appears to be the only out."

So how can people get help? Andrea Cruce is with Texas 211 and helps people deal with different situations that can lead to stress.

"We'll start off with the child care, we have a great resource that will pay to get childcare," Cruce continued. "We have the workforce that will help get you a job so you can find employment."

Bryan Moffitt with Family Counseling Services is ready to help whenever he's called. Family Counseling Services is a partnership agency of United Way.

"Since we're open at night when people aren't at work and they have some free time I think that's important for them to be able to come in and talk."

MHMR Director of Crisis Services Joanne Harwood says don't hesitate to call, no matter what time it is.

"We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We'll get a call from someone saying I'm sorry for calling you at 3 o'clock in the morning. ‘Really?' Thank you for calling. It doesn't matter what time it is. We're here to help and we want to help," Harwood said.

Harwood feels special to be able to help people with their problems.

"You are able to help that person make a decision to live or die. It is huge, it is really rewarding that you can help them. I don't know of anything else that is more rewarding," Harwood said.

All of the agencies want to help people before they reach a critical point. Lubbock MHMR has an intake program for people who'd like to just talk about their everyday problems. The phone number is (806)-740-1421. There are all sorts of coping methods people can use. "Know your limits, know what things stress you, know when you feel that you're getting to your end," Gary said. 

She knows everyone deals with problems in different ways, but says anyone can be a difference maker just by listening.

"Some of us don't always have the coping skills to be able to deal with things on our own. I just think the world is a more difficult place these days and we're not always prepared to deal with it," said Gary.

She has a message for anyone who's thinking of giving up.

"There are options for you. There are resources and you don't always have to get to that last resort of hurting yourself, there's always someone you can talk to," Gary said.

If you are in need of immediate assistance please call the crisis line at (806)-740-1414.

The number for Family Counseling Services is (806)-747-3488.

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