Breaking the silence

(Courtesy of Andrew Dorn/OPB)

Across Oregon, suicide is ranked as the second leading cause of death among young people. Last year alone, suicide claimed 800 Oregonian lives, according to the Oregon Health Authority. More than 2,000 hospitalizations were due to self harm or suicide attempts in Oregon last year, according to OHA data.

Lane County averages 76 deaths by suicide a year, according to data from the Oregon Health Authority, and overall Oregon’s suicide rate has been higher than the nation’s for decades.

In the week of April 7-14, newsrooms across Oregon are participating in “Breaking the Silence: Shining a Light on Oregon’s Suicide Crisis,” a statewide project emphasizing suicide prevention and awareness — including the Daily Emerald. Below are a list of resources both national and local for anyone who may be in crisis.

If you or someone you know is in direct danger, please call 911.

  1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Providing free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the lifeline has a network of over 150 crisis centers both local and national. They have specific resources for those who are deaf and hard of hearing, LGBTQA+, Native Americans, veterans and more. You can chat online, or call 1(800) 273-8255.

  2. Oregon Youthline. A teen-to-teen based hotline, it is free and confidential. There are option to speak with adults as well. You can chat online, by texting Teen2Teen to 839863 or call the hotline, (877) 968-8491.

  3. University of Oregon Counseling Center. Offering individual and group therapy, crisis support, consultation and community referrals, the Counseling Center is located at 1590 E. 13th Ave. Their phone number is (541) 346-3227.

  4. Lines for Life. A Portland-based nonprofit that works in both substance abuse and suicide. Their lifeline number is 1(800) 273-8255, or text 273TALK to 839863.

  5. NAMI Lane County. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, offers education programs and peer support groups for both those living with mental illness and their family and friends. Their Lane County office is located at 2411 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., and their number is (541) 343-7688. For their hotline, call 1(800) 273-8255.

Newsrooms have avoided talking about suicide in the hopes that the silence would prevent others from attempting it. Newsrooms including The Oregonian, KGW, Portland Business Journal and the Portland Tribune are among many publications who have all joined the project, and works will be published from April 7-14.

By breaking the silence around the issue, it’s the hope that providing these resources and continuing the conversation will shine a light on the problem of suicide in Oregon.

Check for more coverage of Breaking the Silence throughout this week.

News Reporter

Erin Carey is a news reporter for the Daily Emerald. She enjoys coffee, hockey and the Oregon Zoo. You can reach her at [email protected]

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