Zero Suicide Services provides rapid access to crisis care and suicide prevention.
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What are Zero Suicide Services at WTCG?
The Zero Suicide (ZS) program is based on the foundational belief that suicide deaths for individuals under the care of health and behavioral systems are preventable. Through this program, rapid access to therapy is provided to individuals who are experiencing overwhelming depression, suicidal thoughts/intentions, self-harm, or a mental health crisis hindering their safety. WTCG has licensed therapists trained in suicide prevention available Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm, with the last appointment at 4pm. To make an appointment, call the main office at 325-486-TALK (8255) or walk into any WTCG location and request assistance.
Unfortunately, no individual or family is immune to suicide in one way or another. Suicide does not differ between age, race income, gender, or social standing. With this in mind, Zero Suicide services are offered to all eligible individuals regardless of demographics or ability to pay.
Why is WTCG doing Zero Suicide in Tom Green County?
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, the 2nd leading cause for individuals between the ages of 10 to 34, and the 4th leading cause for individuals ages 35 to 54. From 1999 to 2018, U.S.’s suicide rate had an increase of 35% from 10.5 per 100,000 people to 14.2 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). Tom Green County (TGC) is no stranger to this epidemic.
Although Texas has a lower suicide rate than the nation, TCG surpasses the state and national averages. As a matter of fact, between the years 2000 and 2015, suicide rates in the county far exceeded the state and national averages. In 2018, 14.2 for every 100,000 persons living in the U.S. died by suicide, while Texas had a ratio of 13.7 suicide deaths for every 100,000 persons (CDC). However, during that same year, TGC had 26 deaths by suicide (CDC). With an estimated population of 118,189, this leaves the suicide rate for TGC 22 suicide deaths for every 100,000 people.
WTCG believes that every life matters, and so we consider it our mission to provide evidence-based suicide prevention for our clients and community. While zero suicides might sound like a goal beyond reach, we believe that with proper screening, assessment, and treatment, it is possible to put an end to death by suicide in our community.
Who is involved in the Zero Suicide Initiative in Tom Green County?
The collaborative partners involved include MHMRCV, River Crest Hospital, Shannon Behavioral Health, Tom Green County Sheriff's Office, Mental Health Deputy program, Shannon Medical Center, Community Medical Center, La Esperanza Clinic, all local Justices of the Peace, and, in certain cases, the San Angelo Police Department.
For more information, please contact the Director of Zero Suicide Services, Nicole Elliott, LMSW, via phone at (325) 486-TALK (8255) or via email at [email protected]