Portland reports increase in suicides during coronavirus pandemic

PORTLAND, Ore. – There’s no question that coronavirus is causing a lot of fear and anxiety for all of us and it’s having a big impact on people’s mental health.

According to the Oregonian, Portland police are seeing an increase in 9-1-1 calls involving suicide attempts or threats. They say between March 12th and 22nd, the number of calls rose by 23%.

Dwight Holton, who runs help hotline Lines for Life, said they haven’t seen an increase in calls locally, but he’s anticipating that will change.

Holton explained, “Certainly, historically, when we’ve had major economic downturns, it’s been accompanied by increases in volume. And I also think and this is a good thing. People are more comfortable talking about their anxiety and their stressors so our hope is that people will reach out.”

Jackson County Mental Health also said they haven’t seen an increase in numbers.

Holton said there are a few things you can do to help ease your stress, fear, and anxiety. Make sure you’re staying connected with other people. Call or video chat your friends, family or people you haven’t talked to in a while. Also, make sure you’re getting outdoors. Holton said getting some fresh air and exercise will help your mental state.

And if you need to talk to someone, you can head to our website, https://www.kobi5.com, and click the “In This Together” tab for a list of resources.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, know that you are not alone. There is help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text 741741 any time to be connected to a crisis counselor.

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