SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The pandemic has taken on toll on many people’s lives. All of the added stress could lead to feelings of depression, and for some, suicide.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began many people have experienced hardships.
Karla Salem says whether it’s financial insecurity or not being able to see friends and family as much, the main stressors in life are being challenged.
“It’s kind of a perfect storm because there’s more stresses and there’s less ability to use mainstream coping mechanisms that have been used and been effective in the past,” Salem said.
With these challenges, it’s important to recognize the warning signs in people who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts.
“Some of the warning signs that family and friends can look for is people will start to a little bit disassociating, isolating, getting… removing themselves from their support group,” Salem said.
If signs like those are noticed she says oftentimes reaching out to the individual displaying them is welcomed.
“They feel like then, they’re not so isolated. They’re not so lonely. And that there’s somebody who knows them. Number one, because they’ve noticed changes. And number two cares enough to ask the questions,” Salem said.
People can also turn to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, at 1-800-273-8255.
“People can call in if they’re in crisis, or if they just need to talk and need that extra support,” Nelson said.
Sheri Nelson says the Sioux Falls Helpline Center answers the crisis line for the state of South Dakota, assisting both people with suicidal thoughts, or concerned loved ones 24/7.
“We work with prevention, intervention and post-vention. So working with people who have had lived experience, meaning those people who have attempted suicide or have had thoughts of suicide, and working with those people who are actively thinking about suicide,” Nelson said.
You can also access help by calling the Helpline Center directly at 2-1-1, texting your zip code to 898211, or downloading the free 211 app.
All conversations are confidential and can be made anonymously- and most importantly can connect you to help.
“There are always other options. And once you kind of get to the point of, you know, not being so scared of the thoughts, but being more, you know, brave to go to what are some solutions? That’s going to be a very, a very positive forward move for anyone,” Salem said.
Nelson says people can also take part in the upcoming virtual mental health first aid trainings at the end of the month, for both adults and youth.
For more information or to sign up, click here.