2020 Wyoming Suicide Prevention Symposium
The Wyoming Department of Health is pleased to announce the 2020 Wyoming Suicide Prevention Symposium. To accommodate as many participants as possible and adhere to social distancing recommendations, this year’s symposium will be held virtually via Zoom.
Join us every Friday in September from 12 PM to 2 PM to learn more about suicide prevention efforts in Wyoming. There is no charge, and all are welcome.
Click on the title of the session to link directly to the Zoom meeting.
12:00 PM: Sources of Strength
All meetings will be recorded and posted on this website.
Reduce stress in yourself and others
Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful.
When you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people feel less stressed and allow you to connect with them.
Learn more about taking care of your emotional health.
Stress and Coping
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.
People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include
- Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
- Children and teens
- People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
- People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.
Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.
Things you can do to support yourself
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
Injury in Wyoming
Injury is the leading cause of death for Wyoming residents aged 1-54 years and the third leading cause of death for all ages (WY Vital Statistics Services (WY VSS)). Wyoming has one of the top five highest injury mortality rates in the U.S. The leading causes of injury in Wyoming are suicide attempts, motor vehicle crashes, poisoning, and falls. These top four causes accounted for 76% of fatal injuries (2004-2016) (WY VSS) and 60% of non-fatal injury hospitalizations (2009-2015) (WY Hospital Discharge Data).
In Wyoming, the unintentional injury mortality rates are over two times higher than suicide rates and eighteen times higher than homicide rates (WY VSS).
In 2018, the Wyoming suicide rate was almost twice the national average and the second-highest suicide rate behind New Mexico (American Association of Suicidology). On average, one Wyoming resident dies by suicide every two days.