User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


68° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news

Healthbeat

Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Increase In Suicide-Related Calls

January 15, 2013, 6:06 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Increase In Suicide-Related Calls
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

When a person dies by suicide it can be especially difficult for the family and friends left behind. Not only do they have to deal with their grief, but they can also blame themselves.

The situation arises more often than you would think.  Early numbers show more people in the Sioux Falls area are seeking help and a local woman is stepping up to help.

Mary Ellen Dirksen had a picture-perfect family growing up. That includes her older brother, Robert, who she says was one of the most caring people she knew.

"If I didn't think anybody else in the world would understand, I knew he would," Dirksen said.

But seven years ago Dirksen's only sibling took his own life.

"What was really hard was that we had been so close when we were younger and I think the fact that we drifted apart a little bit and that I didn't know the extent of which he was struggling," Dirksen said.

Unfortunately, Dirksen's situation it not that unusual. The most recent statistics from the South Dakota Department of Health show that suicide is the ninth leading cause of death in the state. Officials with the Helpline Center saw the problem grow firsthand last month.

"It seemed like call volume-wise was higher. Then a lot of times we get calls when people have lost someone to suicide so we do loss-outreach calls where we'll go out and meet with a family immediately upon notification of a suicide," Helpline Center Suicide & Crisis Support Director Lori Montis said.

"I wish I would have been better educated on the warning signs, and I wish my family had more open communication. My brother was talking to each family member about different aspects about what he was going through," Dirksen said.

Experts say those warning signs can include talking about suicide, being overly focused on death, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness and changes in behavior.

Dirksen, like many others who have lost loved ones to suicide, blamed herself at points and deals with a lot of regrets.

"I just wish I could go back and give him a hug and tell him it's going to be ok. I wish I could do that and I can't," Dirksen said.

One way Dirksen is healing is by volunteering with the Helpline Center.

"The opportunity to come out and raise awareness about mental health issues and the opportunity to educate people and to be involved in an organization that educates people about mental health issues is really healing," Dirksen said.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, you should seek help immediately. You can call the Helpline Center at 1-800-273-TALK or just 211 in the Sioux Falls area.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A word was omitted in a prior version of this story.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View healthbeat

You may also like

Meth Making A Comeback

10/21/2014 6:13 PM

South Dakota officers have already taken more meth off the streets this year compared to all of last year.  And last year the state saw a record ...

Full Story | Watch
Getting A Second Opinion Right Away

10/20/2014 6:10 PM

After getting an opinion from one doctor, Bonnie and her husband came to Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls to get a second opinion.

Full Story | Watch
Ebola Flight Concerns

10/16/2014 5:10 PM

Travelers are also trying to stay ahead of the Ebola virus, and other contagious diseases, any way they can.

Full Story | Watch
A Second Opinion Clinic

10/20/2014 11:58 AM

When it comes to serious diseases, such as breast cancer, you definitely want to make sure you're getting the right advice. Avera has opened its B...

Full Story
American Video Journalist Free Of Ebola, Will Be Released Wednesday

10/21/2014 6:07 PM

An Omaha hospital says an American video journalist is free of Ebola and will be released soon.

Full Story


Events