The recent high profile death of Robin Williams may have thrust suicide and depression into the forefront, but the reality is that the calls for help occur each day. September is Suicide Prevention Month and to help separate suicide fact from fiction, we turned to Community Outreach Psychiatric Emergency Services (COPES) Program Director Amanda Bradley for answers.

 

What is COPES and how does COPES work with the CrisisCare Center?

Family & Children’s Services provides 24/7 crisis support and stabilization services customized to individual needs.

COPES, Community Outreach Psychiatric Emergency Services, is a telephone and mobile crisis service that responds around the clock to children and adults experiencing a severe emotional or behavioral disturbance or psychiatric emergency.

CrisisCare Center provides critically-needed psychiatric beds and new, innovative crisis respite services 24 hours a day.

If you are in crisis call 918.744.4800.

– See more at: http://www.fcsok.org/services/crisiscare-center-2/#sthash.2gPT7TPZ.dpuf

COPES, Community Outreach Psychiatric Emergency Services, is a telephone and mobile crisis service that responds around the clock to children and adults experiencing a severe emotional or behavioral disturbance or psychiatric emergency.

CrisisCare Center provides critically-needed psychiatric beds and new, innovative crisis respite services 24 hours a day.

– See more at: http://www.fcsok.org/services/crisiscare-center-2/#sthash.2gPT7TPZ.dpuf

COPES, Community Outreach Psychiatric Emergency Services, is a telephone and mobile crisis service that responds around the clock to children and adults experiencing a severe emotional or behavioral disturbance or psychiatric emergency.

CrisisCare Center provides critically-needed psychiatric beds and new, innovative crisis respite services 24 hours a day.

– See more at: http://www.fcsok.org/services/crisiscare-center-2/#sthash.2gPT7TPZ.dpuf

COPES is a 24/7  telephone and mobile crisis service that responds around the clock to children and adults experiencing a severe emotional or behavioral disturbance or psychiatric emergency.  COPES rapid response can save lives and keeps those in crisis safe. Last month alone, COPES received 586 calls.

To address the critical need for psychiatric beds and new, innovative crisis respite services, Family & Children’s Services opened the CrisisCare Center, 1055 South Houston Avenue West, in October 2013. Adults who are experiencing emergency psychiatric needs may can receive short-term crisis stabilization in a safe, secure environment.

If you, your loved one or someone you know is in distress, we are here to help. Just call 918.744.4800.

 

According to the Tulsa Police Department, to date this year, Tulsa has recorded 24 homicides compared to 58 suicides. The new Zero Suicide Initiative hopes to dramatically change this statistic. Can you explain what is and tell us if zero suicides is attainable.

To answer your last question first, yes. I do believe zero suicides is achievable. Now, Family & Children’s Services is partnering with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) to implement the Zero Suicide Initiative. This new model of care includes a shift in perspective from thinking that suicide is inevitable to every suicide is preventable.

 

I thought that once a person decided to commit suicide, nothing could reverse that decision.

Many people mistakenly believe that is the case, but we have proven time and time again that we can prevent suicide. We talk about being safe for now. We immediately address the issue of getting them through this day and that’s instilling the hope that tomorrow will be better. Helping them understand that there will be ups and downs, that this is not a simple, quick fix, but we can help them discover the one thing they can do to make this a little bit better. We figure out what is the one thing is you can do right now to make things brighter that will keep you safe for now.

 

Why is it that suicide often catches many of the people closest to the individual off guard? You often hear, “He seems to being do so well- like he had turned a corner. I didn’t see this coming.”

If you aren’t trained to see the signs you would just think that the person has turned the corner and is doing better. Many people don’t want to question the dramatic change in behavior because they think “Today was a good day. Why would I question it and take him back to a bad place?”  What we must consider is why is it now so dramatically different- what has changed? The reality is that, often, the decision has been made and the individual is at peace with it. In fact, you will even see someone who has made the decision to commit suicide actually be very forward thinking and finishing things, such as paying bills.  It’s called “The Amazing Reversal”.

 

Is it true more people commit suicide around the holidays than any other time of year?

In Tulsa and nationwide, statistics prove the opposite to be true. November and December are the months that traditionally have the fewest number of suicide.  We know that during the holidays people have support systems and they stabilize, to a degree. It doesn’t mean the problems go away, it just means that during the holidays, families help quiet them.

 

I’m not a trained professional, but am worried that someone I know is really in a dark place. How can I help?

People think that asking the question, “Are you thinking about suicide?” will introduce the idea. That is simply not the case. It is important to ask that question and be prepared to follow through with resources when the answer is “yes”. You can remember QPR. It stands for Question, Persuade, Refer. Ask the question, persuade the individual to give information and then refer to the correct resources. Our suicide helpline is answered 24/7 and that number is 918.744.4800.

Also, Family & Children’s Services offers free training for the public. I really encourage churches, schools, businesses and community organizations to take advantage of this resource and become familiar with QPR. Once you have a better understanding of the signs and how to apply QPR, it’s not as scary. For more information, contact 918.587.9471.

 

Tell us about the ripple effect of suicide. 

Suicide’s ripple effect is far-reaching. Figure that the number of people intimately affected by a suicide is six and then multiply that and the circle of impact grows and gets wider and wider. You have to understand the suicide becomes a piece of the fabric that the person is made of and it impacts their life forever.

 

Let’s talk about hope…

Right now as we talk, the COPES team is working 30 cases. That’s 30 people we are talking to, visiting, following up with and 30 people we are helping right now. I believe in what we get to do. It’s truly a gift to get to walk through the darkest times with these individuals and help them, connect them with the resources that keep them alive.

World Suicide Prevention Candlelighting 9.10.2014

COPES and CrisisCare Center employees stand in support of the Zero Suicide Initiative.

 

 

Family & Children’s Services is the place to call

when you feel lost, lonely, trapped or have no one else to turn to for help.

918.744.4800