the NEWS from HQ, August 2017

August 1, 2017

it's THE NEWS from HQ!
Headquarters, Inc. 
August, 2017
This month: Recognizing the Warning Signs of Suicide 

Some of the warning signs that someone might be thinking of suicide:
Upcoming Events
July 27 and 28 TransKansas5, Lawrence College and Career Center Click to visit their website
July 30, 2017 Phresh off the RunwayFashion Show 6-10 pmArts Tech, Kansas City. Click here for more info and tickets!
August 14 and 15Lawrence ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) This two-day interactive workshop in suicide first-aid teaches participants to recognize when someone may be at risk of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. No prior training is required, and anyone from any profession is welcome. Click here for more details and for tickets.
August 18th HQCC Summer Volunteer Graduation
August 28th Volunteer Info Session 6:00pmHeadquarters Conference Room Are you interested in becoming a Headquarters Volunteer Counselor? In our information sessions, you'll hear about our training process, training schedule, and just what it means to be a HQCC Volunteer. 
August 30th KU Volunteer Fair  10am-2pm, Kansas Union 4th floor lobby
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When you enroll, you'll be signing up for scheduled monthly giving to Headquarters, Inc. 
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Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington's suicide on July 20th is another reminder of the tragedy of suicide. Sadly, he was only one of about 120 people in the US who died by suicide on July 20th.  Statistically, another 800+ have killed themselves since his death. We must bring the discussion to the forefront of our lives and our relationships with others not just when it's trending in the media. Here's another article that expresses my thoughts almost perfectly. --Allan
We Only Talk About Suicide When it Happens | Matt Poe |

A note from Andy
Andy Brown, Executive Director
Suicide does not know age, race, gender, wealth, sexual orientation, occupation or geographic location. Simply put, everyone is at risk of suicidal thoughts. Behavioral health is a lot like physical health: it's not always predictable. You can take preventative steps, but every so often, you're going to catch a cold. It's important to not only stay aware of yourself, but of those around you as well. When you see signs that someone might be experiencing thoughts of suicide, it's time to have the conversation about it (as we discussed in last month's newsletter).
Some of our friends and family members might not display all of the warning signs, there might only be a few hints. It's so important that we take action as soon as those hints are given. The warning signs are almost always present and waiting to act on those hints could be the difference of life and death. Ask: "Are you thinking about Suicide?" If the answer is "yes," remain calm, listen, be supportive, and start working immediately to help the person stay safe.
As our new class of volunteer counselors learned this past month in their ASIST training, it's not immediately about solving the root cause of their suicidal thoughts, which is seldom from just one thing; it's about getting that person to a safe place, out of immediate danger of self-harm to begin working out the source of their suicidal thoughts. You might not always be the person with whom they want to work--and that's okay, you can still get them to a safe place for now and be a part of their long-term support system. 
Andy Brown
Executive Director, Headquarters, Inc. 
5 Warning Signs of Suicidal Thoughts
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This may come across as a very direct question but have you ever thought of suicide? 
Have you ever pondered it so much that it became a daily preoccupation? If so, you are certainly not alone. As hard as it may be to believe, most people have suicidal thoughts and you should not ever feel abnormal for having them. In fact, when I see my young clients, I often aim to erase the erroneous feelings and negative self-talk they have about their own thoughts of suicide. 
This article will discuss warning signs that someone may be thinking about suicide. I will also include one of my recent webinars on suicidal behaviors and thoughts in children and teens. 
I once had a mother ask me why her daughter would ever consider suicide. I remember informing her that suicidal thoughts are sometimes the only way a person can imagine a way out of their pain. For all humans, we look for ways to increase pleasure or happy experiences and decrease pain and suffering. While one individual may drink and use drugs to cope, others may think of ways to end all of their pain through suicide. For some people, using drugs, engaging in risky behaviors, having multiple and unsafe sexual experiences, gambling, overspending, etc. may be the best way for them to “erase” their pain. But for other people, it is suicide. All these behaviors are ways we try to cope with life when it gets painful. Suicide is no different. 
The Night Shift
Rye M., Overnight Counselor
Though we are here 24/7/365, the evening and overnight hours are when our crisis center receives some of our most serious calls. In this regular section, we hope to let Rye share with you some insights and some wisdom on what it's like to be a HQCC Counselor
After about 12 months, I reached a stage in my career(?) as a suicide counselor where suicidal intent was more obvious to me, that I could hear it in the way a person greeted me when I answered their call.  But this knack is less impressive when I account for the house edge of being on the receiving end of a crisis line phone.
Out in the world, warning signs that someone is suicidal are intangible, abstract.  The condition itself is intangible and is often concealed by those afflicted because we live in a culture that stigmatizes that invisible pain.
Sometimes, there are no warning signs, sometimes there is no definite way to intuit if someone is suicidal.  All you can do is… know.  All you can do is listen to instincts and funny feelings and express concern if you get any sense that something is wrong.  And even with ears to the ground, there may never be a warning sign that someone is struggling.
The important thing to keep in mind is that if someone is suicidal, even if they never act on their thoughts, they are experiencing a state of mind that is intrinsically painful.  Any indication or warning sign that someone may be suicidal is, at the least, an indication that they are hurting.
And the simplest thing we can do for someone who is hurting is also one of the kindest, that is to let them know, without judgment or condition, that we see their invisible pain.
Volunteer Spotlight
Craig L. 
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Craig joined Headquarters in Spring of 2016. As a student, having graduated this past spring with a degree in Psychology and minor in sociology, he joined Headquarters to gain experience helping those in crisis on his way to getting his masters degree in clinical psychology.
Craig served in the U.S. Marine Corps and part of what drew him into pursuing a degree in Psychology and volunteering at Headquarters was his own experience with PTSD; he wants to work with veterans after completing his masters degree.
The most recent call that stands out to him was a caller attempting suicide by overdosing on heroin. The caller would not give up his location but dispatch was attempting to track the cell phone so they could get help to the caller. Something he appreciates is the family type environment of HQCC and that not only are the volunteers there to support callers, we also feel it is important to support each other.
“I have been humbled by the impact that a supportive person can have for another, and the healing power validation can generate. My time volunteering at HQCC has continued to increase my motivation to pursue a career in mental health.”  
Thank you to the Kansas Health Foundation of Butler County for their $1000.00 grant to KSPRC for Suicide Prevention in Butler County

In the News
A few news stories from our Twitter feed 
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Fundraising Season is almost upon us.  Please plan to make Headquarters, Inc. part of your annual giving. We need you financial support. HQ,Inc. is funded by individual and foundation contributions. Without YOU and YOUR support, we can't continue the important suicide prevention work that we do. Please take a moment, read our spring fundraising letter, and ask yourself if you can help save someone's life today. 
You can also give by becoming a sustaining partner. This program allows you to give a little every month to easily budget an annual gift. Just select the frequency of your gift to "monthly" on the donation form.