EL PASO, Texas — September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Organizations like Emergence Health Network want to remind El Pasoans of services available to the community to prevent suicide in the region.
According to the El Paso County Medical Examiner’s annual report from 2020 to 2021, suicides went up from 62 to 91 — a 46 percent increase.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says suicide is of the leading caused of death in the U.S.
The CDC says in 2020, 12.2 million people contemplated suicide.
Licensed counselors with Emergence work 24/7 to help people across the Borderland who may be dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts, including at their 24-hour Extended Observation Unit.
They even have a program to help family’s who lost loved ones to suicide — the suicide survivor support group.
Molly Luevanos, a licensed counselor with Emergence Health Network who says a lot of family’s tend to feel responsible when they lose a loved one.
“We want to give them that space, free of judgment, for just whatever they want to share because this is a difficult time for them,” Luevanos said. “We want them to be able to process it in a safe environment and just to give them that support, if they have some friends or family or just they’re they’re lacking support, this is a healthy place to get that support. That’s what we’re here for.”
That group meets the last Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m.
Luevanos says if you notice a loved one who may be feeling like there’s no reason to live, has erratic mood swings, withdraws and isolates themselves or if you start to see them increase their use of alcohol or other drugs, it might be time to intervene and get professional help.
The City of El Paso along with other community organizations like NAMI El Paso and Emergence Health Network will be come together for a special vigil to honor those we lost to suicide. The vigil begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at San Jacinto Plaza.
You can contact Emergence Health Network at 915-779-1800 if you or a loved one is dealing with suicidal thoughts. You can also call 988 the new Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number.
For more on their services, click here.