The police and fire departments in Southlake are reaching out on social media to let people in crisis know that there is someone out there wanting to help.
A Facebook post told people who are considering suicide that they are not alone and to reach out.
“Everyone goes through hard times and sometimes you may just need someone to talk to,” the post says. “We are here for that. We are here for YOU. If we can’t help you, we can and will find someone who will.”
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Brad Uptmore, a police spokesman, said first responders often deal with situations in a “reactive” way.
“Our tone has become more conversational on Facebook and Twitter,” he said. “Our hope is that we build more trust with people who read our posts.”
The police department’s social media post came shortly after the news of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide and a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the suicide rate has increased by 25 percent since 1999. Suicide is among the top 10 causes of death in the United States, and the numbers are increasing.
In 2016, approximately 45,000 people committed suicide, around 15 people per 100,000, according to the CDC report.
The report also said that more than half who died from suicide had not been diagnosed with a mental health condition.
Uptmore also urged people to check with friends and family if they have not heard from them in a while or if they notice changes in behavior.
“We will happily talk to you. All of us have sat down with people and helped them get the help they need,” he said.