River’s Edge Hospital hosts Suicide Loss Support Group

Losing a loved one is difficult in any situation.  When someone chooses to end their life leaves many unanswered questions and grief for those who loved them.

Starting September 21, Mattew Tuggle, DPT at River’s Edge Hospital, who lost his father in May 2019 to suicide, will facilitate a Suicide Loss Support Group from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at River’s Edge Hospital in the Helen White 1 Confernece Room.   More information is in the flyer at the bottom of the page.

Last year, Matthew shared his story with the employees at River’s Edge Hospital.  You can read it here:

By Matt Tuggle, DPT
Physical Therapist

Over a “typical” 45-year career you will spend 90,000 hours alongside your co-workers. Most weeks you are spending more of your waking hours with your co-workers than with your own family.
This provides each and everyone of us an opportunity to show compassion and care to people we interact with daily.
September is Suicide Prevention month. As a suicide loss survivor, losing my dad to suicide in May 2019, this type of advocacy is now a cornerstone in my life. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the American Association of Suicidology have emphasized the importance of suicide prevention in the workplace. This is reinforced by the following statistic: 80 percent of all people who die by suicide are of working age (18-65). Our workplace serves as a key system for further education, training, and intervention for suicide prevention.
A recent national survey indicated a majority (81 percent) say, as a result of this current pandemic, suicide prevention needs to be of national priority. Common psychosocial stressors linked to increase risk of suicide ideation, attempts, and death include work-family conflict (work demands make family responsibilities more difficult), excessive job demands, and job insecurity (perceive threat of job loss and the worries related to that threat). COVID-19 has arguably influenced these three factors among many others which increase job stress. Job stress reduction should be a key component within our workplace to diminish psychological distress and worsening mental health.
As employees here at Rivers Edge we can help identify risk factors of suicide.
These factors include: putting affairs in order, withdrawal, increased drug/alcohol abuse, anger, no sense of purpose, sudden mood changes, feeling hopeless/helpless/desperate, changes in sleep, anxiety/agitation, reckless behavior, and talking about wanting to die or suicide.
Hopelessness and helplessness are two of the major signs of suicide. A sense of hopelessness reflects a negative view of the future. This includes expectations of personal dissatisfaction, failure, and a continuation of pain and difficulty– a belief that nothing will get better. Helplessness is the feelings of negativity of oneself. Remember that suicide, like mental health, is multi-factorial and unique to that individual and situation.
There are many perceived barriers to discussing suicide with others including not knowing what to say, feeling like you don’t have enough knowledge, and not feeling comfortable with the topic.
A common myth about suicide is the concept of asking a depressed person about suicide will push him/her to complete suicide. Numerous studies have shown this to be false. Asking directly about suicide is a key step in suicide assessment. Do this in a language that is natural for you. This requires you to practice this phase so when the time comes you are comfortable expressing this question.
I urge you to talk openly about suicide. Show compassion, listen to others, and be honest about how you feel. This year has brought many challenges. Together we at Rivers Edge Hospital can overcome these challenges and continue to make our workplace a rich and fulfilling environment.

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