Valley mental health expert weighs in on suicide prevention
One mental health expert is weighing in after two incidents involving suicides in the Valley last week.
Mariana Ibarra, a therapist at DHR Health Behavioral Hospital, says mental health is often put on the back burner.
"It’s easy for people to forget to keep up with their mental health especially when you’re working forty maybe even more hours a week," Ibarra said.
Ibarra says it’s important to practice self care so you can manage life’s stressors before they overwhelm you.
"Usually people who struggle with suicide ideations are either depressed, have either history of either mental health issues or maybe they have gone through something traumatic," Ibarra said.
Ibarra says there are warning signs that could indicate if someone is suicidal.
"Giving away their possessions, maybe talking or joking about maybe ending their lives, somebody who is using substances more often than usual," Ibarra said.
Ibarra says asking someone if they’re suicidal won’t increase the chances of them ending their life — rather it can help them.
"If somebody is struggling with having thoughts of wanting to kill themselves, it’s okay to ask if they’re okay or if they’re even having these thoughts," Ibarra said.
If someone is considering suicide, it’s recommended that you step in with empathy and distance them from weapons or any possible means of violence; help them get connected with someone who is a professional, whether it be calling the suicide hotline or giving them a counselor; or taking them to the behavioral hospital or psychiatric facility.
The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.