How to help someone in a mental health crisis

MEDFORD, Ore. — Lieutenant Mike Budreau with Medford Police says they get more than 400 calls a year of people in a mental health crisis in the city.

That’ s why Jackson County Health and Human Services says it’s important the public knows how to respond to a crisis situation.

Rick Rawlins with Jackson County Health says if you know someone who is thinking of ending their life, you should ask them directly if they’re thinking of suicide.

Rawlins says bringing up the word suicide can open the door for conversation and could lead the person at risk to get help.

“If the person is saying yes I want to kill myself then talk with them, listen, hear what’s happening with them,” Rawlins said. “If they are not able to help them get safe then there are resources available to call.”

Some of those resources include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number at  1-800-273-TALK.

You can also call the police. Officers can take a person who is at risk into protective custody and get them to emergency health professionals.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide there is help available.

You can call the National Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

You can also text 741-741 to be connected to a crisis counselor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Blakely McHugh is co-anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and spokesperson for In This Together, a suicide prevention initiative. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA. Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors. Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “hi!”
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