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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

How the Permian Basin is addressing National Suicide Prevention Month this September

"Our focus on suicide prevention doesn’t begin and end in September," said Chandra Quintanar, FRC coordinator.

ODESSA, Texas — According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, over 100 people commit suicide in the US every day.

September is dedicated to lessening and hopefully completely eradicating that number.

Permia Care, our local mental health authority, and other organizations are doing something about it.

"Our focus on suicide prevention doesn’t begin and end in September. Suicide prevention is something that we do as a way of life and we’re always available to help people," said Chandra Quintanar, Family Resiliency Center coordinator.

Permia Care has crisis teams you can call on year-round, as well as mental health first aid trainings that are open to the public, crisis courses and clinics.

All of these are accessible on a daily basis.

Local mental health authorities say your emotional and physical well being are equally important.

"We work with all of the local ERs for Midland and Ector County, we work with the sheriff’s officers, we work with the police departments, we respond in the county jails, we work with our school systems, so we’re pretty much anywhere and everywhere that we’re needed," Jade Womack, Permia Care's mental health clinic case management supervisor said.

Life brings us challenges every day and it’s okay to struggle with that.

"Statistically 1 in 5 Americans are suffering from some sort of mental illness. People can go in and out of crisis and feeling okay, so it’s important to promote the awareness of mental health to let people know it’s okay to not be okay and that if you aren’t okay, there are resources," Womack said.

West Texans are tough, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.

This month and next, Permia Care and the Family Resiliency Center are doing a push on social media, providing resources, warning signs to watch for and tips on how to help in crisis.

Beyond this, the Permian Basin is hosting an Out of the Darkness Walk on October 11, 2020 to bring awareness to suicide.

Midland Memorial Hospital is also hosting a wellness tour this week, because this kind of change happens with a village of support.

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