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Lincoln – Infectious disease outbreaks such as COVID-19, as well as other public health events, can cause emotional distress and anxiety. Feeling anxious, confused, overwhelmed or powerless is common during an epidemic or pandemic. These feelings of distress and anxiety can occur even if you are not at high risk of getting sick.
However, as COVID-19 spreads on, secondary outcomes of the pandemic—such as economic stress—are colliding with depression and a rising suicide risk. Suicide is a tragic reaction to a stressful life situation. It may seem like there's no way to solve your problem or address your pain, but reaching out can help you regain your perspective and help you cope with life better.
“No matter how much pain you're experiencing right now, you're not alone," said Sheri Dawson, director of the Division of Behavioral Health. “Feeling suicidal doesn't mean that you are weak or flawed. It only means that you feel hopeless in the moment. There is a way back to feeling normal again and there are people who want to help you get there. With time and support, you can overcome your problems and the pain and help keep you safe. If you, a loved one, or someone you know feels suicidal, please seek help immediately. Let's save the lives of Nebraskans."
Warning signs of suicide include:
Suicidal behaviors are a psychiatric emergency. If have a friend or loved one engaged in any of the following, of if you recognize these symptoms in yourself, please seek help:
Warning signs aren't always obvious, and they may vary from person to person. Some people make their intentions clear, while others keep suicidal thoughts and feelings secret. Just like signs of a stroke or heart attack, know the warning signs of suicide to save a life. Mental Health First Aid and Question, Persuade, Prefer (QPR) classes teach participants how to interact with a person who is suicidal. The next sessions are as follows:
If someone is imminently threatening suicide and has the access and the means to do so, call 911.
Need to talk or get immediate help in a crisis?