2 Oklahoma Suicides Heighten Awareness For Mental Health

Friday, January 3rd 2020, 2:03 pm
By: Jonathan Cooper

Two public suicides that took place in Green Country resulted in a reminder that mental health is a serious topic. 

“There’s still a stigma surrounding suicide and mental health,” said Ken Moore, the director of Social Services for Parkside Psychiatric Hospital & Clinic.

Moore said suicide is a crisis nobody should feel ashamed of discussing.

"Often times suicide is a response to a problem that a person can see no other alternative to,” said Moore. “Our job is to help them identify the problem specifically and come up with healthier ways to solve that problem."

The topic is back in the news this week because of two public suicides.

On Tuesday, Broken Arrow Police said a 23-year-old died by suicide after robbing a bank.

Thursday a man jumped off a bridge on the IDL, landing on a car.

Moore said the coverage of these cases could help save someone else's life.

"My hope is we can use this as an opportunity to develop an awareness and sensitivity to the people in our own lives,” said Moore. “There may be somebody sitting next to you who's thinking about killing themselves and we want people to feel empowered to ask, to support and to help people find the help that they need."

Moore said it is okay to ask someone if they're thinking about hurting themselves if you notice changes or just sense something is wrong, because in his experience, a lot of people feel relieved that somebody cares.

"Through asking, it doesn't give someone the idea, many people are worried about that. And it helps relieve some of the shame and some of the stigma," said Moore.

Moore said you can walk in to Parkside 24/7 for help or if you’re having suicidal thoughts.

Or you can call their hotline at 918-588-8888.

You can also call COPES Crisis Services at 918-744-4800.

Or the national suicide prevention lifeline at 800-273-TALK, or text “home” to 741741.

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