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Suicide rates trending upwards in Milwaukee County, officials offer free education training

mental health
Posted at 5:26 PM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 18:34:14-04

MILWAUKEE — Amaii Collins knows the toll depression and anxiety can take on a person's mental health.

"I remember snapping one day and just realizing that I didn't want to be here anymore. There was nothing that I had to live for," said Collins.

That's because when she was just 17 years old, at the height of the pandemic, she attempted to take her own life.

"It was unsuccessful. So, coming back from that was kind of like a shock to me, that I'm still supposed to be here," said Collins.

Now 19-year-old Collins has dedicated her life to helping kids deal with mental health issues. Working at Running Rebels, she says she gives kids a safe space to talk about their struggles. It is an opportunity she says she never had.

"I always do feel like this is my reason to come and share my experience and make it easier for other youth to share their experience," said Collins.

This comes as suicide rates in Milwaukee County are steadily on the rise. Many health officials cite the pandemic as one of the reasons for the increase. In 2019, the county saw 115 suicides. In 2020, there were 126 and in 2021, there were 129.

"So far in 2022, we've seen a concerning increase in death by suicide of 20% in January and February compared to the same time last year. Even one death by suicide is one too many," said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley.

That's why beginning Friday, the Prevent Suicide Greater Milwaukee organization will launch a new initiative that will offer free training for community members for a whole year to increase education about warning signs, risk factors, and more. This is in addition to free resources available right now.

"Our local crisis line with Milwaukee County is available 24/7 and can be reached by calling 414-257-7222. There is help and there is hope," said Prevent Suicide of Greater Milwaukee Co-Chair, ​Andrea Nauer-Waldschmidt.

Here's a list of some of the organizations that are ready to help:

Caregiver Help Desk
Contact the care support team to find information about navigating complex caregiving challenges. Call 855-277-3640.

CDC: Coping with stress and anxiety
Click herefor information from the CDC on coping with social distancing and quarantine.

Crisis Text Line
No matter what kind of crisis you find yourself in, you can text MHA to 741741 and you’ll be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance is offering online meetings for anyone struggling with depression or a bipolar disorder. Click here to see the meeting schedule and sign up.

Domestic Abuse Intervention Services
If you or someone you know is health with domestic abuse during this time, call Domestic Abuse Intervention Services' 24-hour help line at 608-251-4445.

HOPELINE Text Service
This service offers assistance with ANY issue you may be having. All you have to do is text HOPELINE to 741741.

IMPACT 2-1-1
Impact 2-1-1 is open and available 24/7. They offer services to anyone struggling with drug abuse, mental health issues, and now, the coronavirus outbreak. If you need non-emergency assistance, you can all 211 and speak to a medical professional. They can also answer your questions regarding coronavirus.

Journey Mental Health Center
If you or someone you know is going through a mental health emergency, call Journey at (608) 280-2600 and speak to a trained professional.

Lutheran Counseling and Family Services of Wisconsin (LCFS)
Here to help those struggling with anxiety, fear, and isolation. Call 414-536-8333 to speak with someone about counseling.

Mental Health America - Wisconsin
Select your county here. From there, there will be a directory that lets you select what type of help they need, the primary clients that need help, and finally, what type of payments options/insurances they have available if needed. Once that info. is put in, the site will show contact information for organizations that fit their criteria.

Milwaukee Behavioral Health Division
Click here for more information about the Milwaukee Behavioral Health Division.

Milwaukee County 24-Hour Crisis Line
Call 414-257-7222. They also have a mobile team that can come to you if needed.

Milwaukee Women's Center
Milwaukee Women's Center: (414) 671-6140 / Fax: (414) 221-0169, Milwaukee Women's Center 24-Hour Domestic Violence Crisis Line: (414) 671-6140

National Alliance on Mental Illness
If you're experiencing a mental health crisis, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness 24 hour helpline at 1-800-950-6264.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Their advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in more than 200 languages. All calls are free and confidential.

National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline
The National Sexual Assault Hotline is a safe, confidential service for those struggling after being sexually assaulted. When you call the hotline, only the first six numbers of your phone number are used to route the call, and your complete phone number is never stored in their system. Call 800-656-HOPE (4673) for help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
This lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Call 1-800-273-8255 for help.

Office of Violence Prevention
Click here for resources or call (414) 286-8553.

Parents Experiencing Stress
You can contact a confidential helpline at (414) 671-0566.

This is a 24-hour line for youth in crisis. Call 414-271-1560 for help.

Prevent Suicide Wisconsin
If you or someone you know is thinking of committing suicide, call Prevent Suicide Wisconsin. For your county's phone number, click here.

Red Cross Wisconsin
To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has professionals on hand to help with any struggles you may be facing. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

Shine offers resources for anxiety and your mental health in a global climate of uncertainty. They have experts on hand to answer questions, free meditations, and even an online space where you can just take a break and enjoy some comforting content. Click here for more.

Sixteenth Street
Set up an appointment with a mental health provider by calling 414-672-1353.

Soujourner Family Peace Center
Sojourner is currently open and serving people impacted by domestic violence. Click here to learn more.

Suicide Prevention Hotline
608-280-2600 or 1-800-273-8255.

Teens with Mental and Behavioral Needs
Mobile Crisis Line: (414) 257-7621.

The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention to those in the LGBTQ community. If you or someone you know is struggling, call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386, or click here to chat online with a counselor. You can also text START to 678678.

Veterans Crisis Line
If you're a veteran looking for support during these unprecedented times, call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. You can also text 838255. To chat online, click here.

Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline
This helpline can help those struggling with addiction find help. Call 833-944-4673 or text your ZIP code to 898211for help.

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