Suicide numbers in Lubbock down during holidays - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Suicide numbers in Lubbock down during holidays

Pictured: Sharron Davis, executive director of Contact Lubbock Pictured: Sharron Davis, executive director of Contact Lubbock

The number of suicides in the United States is staggering.

It is the number one cause of death among the elderly, second leading cause of death for high school students and third highest cause of death for college students.

Sharron Davis, the executive director of Contact Lubbock, a 24-hour crisis intervention hotline, is no stranger to this tragedy.

"You know, we have children as young as 5 years old in the United States committing suicide, so it's a huge issue," Davis said.

"We lose almost 7 thousand children to suicide in the United States each year," she said. "Overall, we're losing about 40,000 in the United States, and on top of that, you're looking at about 2 million attempted suicides."

Yet in the holiday season, one of the most stressful times of the year, the number of callers to Contact Lubbock actually declines.

"My own personal thinking is that people try and get through the holidays for their family," Davis said, "and then once the holidays are over, if they've been contemplating suicide and thinking about it seriously - then our phones get pretty busy on December 31st."

She said that normally, Contact Lubbock receives between 10 and 12 calls a day. During the holiday season, that drops down to one or two. Then, on December 31st, it spikes to more than 15 calls per day.

Davis said the triggers can be from anything.

"It can be anything from relationships to work issues just to depression," she said. "It can be a range of really anything you can think of."

 Davis said that in order to help, people should watch out for warning signs. These signs can be things such as dramatic personality changes, loss of appetite or isolating themselves from family and friends.

If these signs are apparent, Davis said the best thing you can do is get them help.

"If you see anything that looks out of the ordinary that you really see continuing past a week or so, then ask the question." Davis said. "Most people are afraid to ask the question, but we encourage you ask the question and then listen. Listening is one of the best things we can do. Never give up on someone. They can always get better and there's always hope. There's always help and you can be that one person that maybe that person connects with, and if you are, then listen to them. Listening is the best thing any of us can do."

The number for Contact Lubbock is (806)-765-8393. Someone is there to answer the phone 24 hours a day.

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