Editor:

As someone working in the behavioral health field, I found it uplifting to see the dialogue around suicide prevention (recently), despite the reasons behind it. Two high profile people died by suicide, and the media took note.

However, discussion of suicide prevention shouldn’t be limited to when celebrities are lost. Yavapai County has a high suicide rate, something hard to believe when surrounded by beautiful vistas and sunsets.

But the statistics are there. We at West Yavapai Guidance Clinic come to work daily hoping to change these statistics. We aren’t there yet.

And, we can’t do this alone. We need your help in directing friends, coworkers and family members to care when they need it. It is OK to ask for help.

Someone experiencing a mental health or drug/alcohol related crisis can come to the Crisis Stabilization Unit at 8655 E. Eastridge Drive, Prescott Valley, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

They shouldn’t be hesitant due to cost, because all Arizonans have a limited crisis benefit whether they are rich or poor. Or call 877-756-4090 to talk with a counselor.

Through the years, I have spoken to several people who have attempted or contemplated suicide. They say the weight is too heavy and the pain so great that suicide seems the only way out.

This is difficult, perhaps impossible, to understand if we haven’t walked in those shoes.

To learn about Clinic services, go to wygc.org. To learn about educational, stigma reduction and fundraising efforts, go to wygcfoundation.org.

Laura Norman

Chief Development & Communication Officer,

West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, Chino Valley