City Club of Eugene: Suicide as a Public Health Emergency

Oct 14, 2019

This week’s City Club of Eugene: Suicide as a Public Health Emergency, contains descriptions that some listeners might find disturbing. About 15 minutes in to the show we’ll hear from a suicide survivor who recounts a suicide attempt that includes graphic depictions. If you or anyone you know is in trouble or has any questions about getting help, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.

From the City Club of Eugene:

Suicide is a serious public health issue that has touched the lives of thousands of Lane County residents. Lane County’s suicide rate is 50% greater than the U.S. national average. Between 2000 and 2016, more than 1,000 Lane County residents died by suicide. What themes are commonly heard in the stories of those who attempt suicide? What can anyone do in ordinary life to help someone who is struggling? This program will describe the risk factors, groups at special risk, prevention strategies, crisis assessment, and hope and recovery after a suicide attempt.

Crystal Kekai Rowland, LCSW, MPH, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker currently working as a mental health evaluator on the Crisis Team at the PeaceHealth Sacred Heart RiverBend and University District hospitals. Crystal has past experience with public health campaigns and specializes in creating tools and systems for promoting behavior change. She believes storytelling is a powerful way to help people transform their lives and change public attitudes and behaviors.

Prior to her work at PeaceHealth, Crystal created and coordinated a speakers bureau in Sacramento. It was composed of “everyday people” who are living with mental health conditions and who share their stories of hope and recovery to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of mental illness.

Roger BrubakerMPH, is the suicide prevention and mental health promotion coordinator and senior community health analyst with Lane County Health & Human Services. He’ll share statistics on suicide in Lane County, including who is most at risk and why, and discuss resources and effective prevention strategies. He will explore the issue of “connectedness,” and how prevention requires shared responsibility of the entire community, including both lay people and professionals.

“Mike” is a suicide survivor who received treatment from PeaceHealth. He will tell his story of hope and recovery.

Copyright KLCC, 2019