In This Issue: Walk in Memory Walk for Hope. Recent Statistics. Get Involved
2018 WALK IN MEMORY WALK FOR HOPE
The 12th Annual “Walk in Memory – Walk for Hope” community suicide prevention awareness walk will be taking place on Saturday, September 15, 2018, in fourteen different communities across the State of Nevada. All walkers are welcome, and all donations are gratefully accepted. Contributions go to the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention to advance its mission.
This year, we will also be holding our first ever Registration Challenge! Any helping agencies in Nevada who provide resources, services, or research to prevent suicide are invited to participate. The organization who refers the most number of Walk attendees (minimum of 20) will win a free table at the 2019 Nevada Suicide Prevention Conference ($500 value). You can promote your organization and services you may offer to suicide prevention professionals, advocates, researchers, and interested community members. If you have any questions or would like more information, please send us an email at email@example.com.
CDC VITAL STATISTICS REPORT
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR NEVADA?
Suicide rates rose across the US from 1999 to 2016 in 49 states in the US. Nevada was the only state that did not have a significant increase.
- Nevada had no increase in suicide rates in since 1999, but are still ranked 7th in suicide death rates nation wide.
- Nevada has done great work in keeping its rates from increasing, but work still needs to be done in order to save more lives.
- Nevada will continue advocating for suicide prevention by building hope through healing. This movement will continue until everyone in the community understands the signs and symptoms in order to take action.
Thank you for all of your efforts in supporting such an important topic. Let’s keep the good work moving forward, every life is valued.
Want to become more involved with NCSP?
You can become a volunteer and/or a member!
Please contact the following if interested:Outreach Committee: Looking for a co-chair & awareness event volunteers
Alice Vo Edwards firstname.lastname@example.orgPR Committee: Looking for new chairperson
M. Amaris Knight email@example.comGrants Committee: Accepting people with previous grant writing or management experience
Jacqueline Ragin firstname.lastname@example.org
Advocacy Committee: -Under development
M. Amaris Knight email@example.com
We are the land of the free, we are the home of the brave. Let’s pay tribute to our brave American Heroes on this special day and forever.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY FROM NCSP!
The escalating crisis has affected nearly every group and place, but the study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that some parts of the country have been hit especially hard. Here’s a closer look at the study and the stories behind some of the data.
Veteran deaths help account for Montana’s high rate.
Montana has the country’s highest suicide rate, and suicides by military veterans are a significant contributor. A state study found that veterans account for more than 20 percent of Montana’s suicides and that veterans have a suicide rate more than twice that of nonveterans.
“All the issues that we have in Montana are magnified in our veteran population,” said Karl Rosston, the state’s suicide prevention coordinator. Mr. Rosston said rural isolation, easy access to guns and a lack of mental health services likely contributed to Montana’s suicide rate, which has been among the country’s highest for decades.
States with the lowest suicide rates have stricter gun laws.
Guns are used in nearly half of all suicides, and ready access to weaponsis one of several risk factors. New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland and Connecticut have the country’s lowest suicide rates. Those states are Democratic-leaning in their politics, clustered in the Northeast and have some of the country’s strictest gun control laws, though researchers say many other factors could account for their low rates.
The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which assigns letter grades to each state based on their strictness, grades each of those five states at a B+ level or higher. Texas and Nebraska, which have slightly higher suicide rates, have comparatively loose gun laws.
White people and men are dying by the thousands.
Suicide rates have increased across gender and geographic lines, but nearly 84 percent of people who kill themselves are white, and about 77 percent are men.
“There are mental health components, but also there’s relationships, employment, a lack of connectedness that we might see in males that increases the risk for suicide,” said Misty Vaughan Allen, Nevada’s state suicide prevention coordinator.
Some point to gun seizure laws as a solution.
Gun control advocates have called for more states to pass laws that allow police officers to seize guns from people they deem dangerous. In Indiana, where such a law has been on the books since 2005, a recent study linked the measure to a 7.5 percent drop from the expected rate of firearm suicides.
“We think that it has thwarted at least several suicides,” said the county sheriff, John Boyd, a Republican. “We’ve at least given them a time period to at least better think about their options and get them the help they need.”
Nevada is a hopeful outlier.
Forty-nine states saw their suicide rates increase over the course of the C.D.C. study, in many cases by double-digit percentages.
Nevada was the lone exception, with a slight reduction in its rate. State officials attributed the improvement to years of work with community groups and in isolated towns where people are at a higher risk of suicide. But the state’s suicide rate remains among the country’s 10 highest.
“We’re still concerned about Nevada,” said Deborah Stone, the author of the C.D.C. study.
*Please note: This is based on 2016 numbers and not all of the phrases in this article are in compliance with National Suicide Prevention guidelines. For additional information, see the CDC WISQARS database.
Sundays for Jerome Penaranda meant “mom time” with his 66-year-old mother, Vivian — an afternoon church service followed by traditional Filipino cuisine at Goldilocks bakery in Las Vegas.
So when she didn’t call as usual around 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 25, 2017 — right after her Zumba class — he wondered if something was wrong.
The horrifying answer arrived in the early hours of Monday, when Vivian Penaranda, 66, was found dead in her apartment. The window cracks were covered with pieces of cloth; prescription medications lined a table.
A brief note offered Jerome and his sister an apology and asked Jesus for forgiveness for taking her own life.
Vivian Penaranda was one of nearly 90 people 65 and older who committed suicide in Clark County last year, according to the coroner’s office. That played a big role in making Nevada the state with the highest suicide rate among seniors in the nation, according to a report published Thursday.
Lack of connectedness
About 32 of every 100,000 Nevadans over 65 die from suicide, according to a new report by the United Health Foundation. That’s nearly double the average U.S. suicide rate among seniors and up from the state’s rate of 29.6 per 100,000 in 2017.
Nevada’s last-in-the-nation ranking, a position it has held in four of the five years the foundation has studied suicide rate, is “very concerning,” said Dr. Rhonda Randall, the foundation’s chief medical officer and executive vice president for UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions.
One reason for that, she said, is that the report raises more questions than it answers. While suicide is often correlated to frequent mental distress, multiple chronic health conditions and excessive drinking and substance use, Nevada ranks near the middle of the pack in many of those categories.
Richard Egan, suicide prevention training and outreach facilitator for the state’s Office of Suicide Prevention, attributes high rates of suicide to the lack of a feeling of connectedness.
“It’s something we’ve been working on for years,” Egan said. “We always talk about how we can address it, and the thing that we address it with, especially with out elderly, is connectedness: connectedness in family, in communities, in a neighborhood.”
Thursday’s report does contain clues that suggest a lack of community involvement might be an issue. The report measures involvement in volunteer work, for example, which Randall said can point to how actively a person participates in their community.
On that measure, Nevada came in last.
Apart from her weekly visits with her son, Vivian Penaranda largely kept to herself. She lived on her own and kept secrets from her family. Jerome Penaranda said he wasn’t aware of the severity of his mother’s medical conditions, including diabetes and heart problems, until he saw the prescription bottles piling up in her home.
Penaranda said he wishes he’d noticed the warning signs while there was time to intervene. Once in a while, his mom asked for information about life insurance, or said she was depressed. He thinks she worried about burdening him and his sister — a common concern among elderly people with suicidal tendencies, Egan said.
It’s also common for relatives to miss signals that a loved one might be considering ending his or her life, he said. Among the elderly, losing a sense of identity or involvement in family or community are common warning signs. Others include talk or writing indicating hopelessness, a fixation on death, threats to inflict self harm or raw emotions like rage and anxiety. Mood disorders, substance abuse, prior suicide attempts and access to lethal means also are major risk factors, he said.
“It all comes down to a person acting maladaptive or out of character for themselves,” Egan said.
Anyone concerned that a person might be considering ending their life should call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or reach out to local police.
In her memory
For Penaranda, there will never be enough time to get over the loss of his mother. He reminds his friends now to spend more time with their older loved ones and show them they’re a priority, he said.
Before his mother’s death, Penaranda planned to take her on a vacation to the Philippines, her birth country, after she retired from her cashier job at Excalibur. It would’ve been a retirement gift.
Instead, he tattooed his arm in her memory.
“It says, ‘I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me,’” Penaranda said. “It’s just a reminder to stay strong, believe in God and just know that she’s up there in a better place.”