Education, Access To Suicide Prevention Programs Urged
Access to mental health services and open discussion of suicide and related issues were promoted as possible ways to reduce suicide in a Tuesday ceremony at the state capitol building in Cheyenne Tuesday..
The ceremony followed a Suicide Prevention walk down Capitol Avenue organized by Grace for 2 Brothers and Stop Suicide Cheyenne. The ceremony’s keynote speaker, First Lady Carol Mead, told the gathering that Wyoming had the highest suicide rate in the nation in 2012, with 163 state residents taking their lives. Cheyenne Police Chief Brian Kozak also addressed the meeting, saying ”I just want people to know that help is available” for people who may be contemplating suicide.
B.J. Ayers of Grace for 2 Brothers said after the meeting that a lack of access to mental health care in many of the state’s rural areas is a problem. Ayers also said people need to be willing to discuss the problem openly. She says that the widespread belief that discussing suicide will cause people to kill themselves is untrue and often isolates potential suicide victims from help.