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Posted: September 8, 2021

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September 8, 2021

OKCIC emphasizes mental health during Suicide Prevention Week

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic promotes Suicide Prevention Week with interactive activities.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma, encourages patients to engage in suicide prevention.

Suicide Prevention Week is observed every September to raise awareness of suicide prevention. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person died from suicide every 11 hours in Oklahoma during 2020.  

“Suicide can happen when stressors and health issues combine to make someone feel hopeless,” said Misty Gillespie, OKCIC’s Director of Behavioral Health. “Luckily, there are several protective factors that can lower the risk of suicide.”

Protective factors for suicide include treatment for mental health issues, feeling connected to a support system, limited access to lethal means, and problem solving and coping skills. 

If you are concerned someone you know is suicidal, look for the warning signs. Warning signs could be changes in mood or behavior that signal risk of suicide. Some common warning signs include talking about having no reason to live or feeling trapped, giving away prized possessions or isolating from others.

“If you feel worried about someone in your life, it’s important to talk to them as soon as possible,” Gillespie said. “You may end up being the only person who reaches out.”

Be sure to have an honest, private conversation with the person you suspect is suicidal. Listen to their story and let them know you care about them. Ask them directly if they are considering suicide, and encourage them to seek treatment if they are. Try to avoid minimizing their problems, giving advice or debating the value of life.    

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, there are resources available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. There is also a free Crisis Text Line available. Just text TALK to 741741 to reach a trained crisis counselor.

OKCIC will also be providing self-care toolkits to patients from September 6-10, 2021. These toolkits are something to reach for to reduce stress, boost your mood and provide comfort.  For those who wish to learn more about suicide prevention, OKCIC will be providing a virtual HELP training for patients. HELP provides Oklahomans ages 10-24 with life-saving suicide prevention skills. For more information on OKCIC services or the self-care toolkits, please call (405) 948-4900 ext. 610. 

About Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic was established in 1974 to provide excellent health care and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma. The clinic staff cares for more than 20,000 patients from over 200 federally recognized tribes every year. American Indians can receive a range of services,  including medical, dental, pediatrics, prenatal, pharmacy, optometry, physical fitness, nutrition, family programs and behavioral health services. For more information, please call (405) 948-4900 or visit

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