Taking care of your mental health is important this month and EVERY month - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Taking care of your mental health is important this month and EVERY month

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Social connectedness is key. At a time when connectedness has been challenged beyond our imagination, all Americans play a role in suicide prevention. #BeThere.

September marks Suicide Prevention Month. Just as we are protecting our physical health right now, we must also take care of our mental health as we navigate this pandemic.

Help is available.
As a behavioral healthcare provider right here in Casper, Wyoming our team at Wyoming Behavioral Institute is dedicated to changing the national narrative about suicide in a manner that promotes hope, resiliency, connectedness and recover. Mental health services, evidence-based treatments and support are available — through both in-person and virtual platforms.

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If someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, free 24/7 confidential services are available including:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.
  • Trevor Lifeline, the only national 24/7 lifeline for LGBTQ youth is 1-866-488-7386.
  • Veterans Crisis Line, for U.S. Military Veterans, call 1-800-273-8255, press 1.
  • Wyoming Behavioral Institute provides no-cost assessments, call 1-800-457-9312

Research indicates that a sense of belonging and social connectedness improves physical, mental and emotional well-being. In fact, connectedness is a proven protective factor against suicide.

It is possible to remain socially connected while practicing physical distancing during this time of COVID-19. Make it a point to call a family member or friend and make an emotional connection each day. Use electronic means (Zoom, FaceTime) to connect. Showing sincere interest in another person’s life can build stronger relationships, and listening to others’ issues can help shed new light and perspective on our own challenges.

While we do not definitely know how this pandemic might impact the U.S., we do know that the number of suicides has increased over the past months, as have calls to the Help Lines. Risk factors for suicide include isolation, financial strain, increased substance use and physical health issues — all factors experienced by our society and exacerbated during the crisis. We want our community to know there are actions that can help. Effective programs and services exist….and assistance is available.

Know someone who may need help? Reach out. Direct them to a Crisis Line or to a Behavioral Health provider. In case of emergency, call 911. We all have a role to play in suicide prevention, not only during the month of September but all year long.

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The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.