The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved a proclamation recognizing the month of September as Suicide Prevention Month in Williamson County. Suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death overall in the United States and second leading cause of death for ages 10 to 14 and 25 to 34.
The Commissioners Court encourages everyone to know the risk factors of suicide and the lifesaving resources that are available. Warning signs include feeling sad and withdrawn for more than two weeks; feeling empty, hopeless, trapped, extremely sad; being more anxious, agitated or full of rage; and changing behaviors, such as dramatic mood swings, eating or sleeping more or less, using drugs or alcohol more often and impulsive or reckless behavior.
Resources available include calling or texting 9-8-8, the national suicide and crisis lifeline for 24-hour, toll-free, confidential support for people in distress. In Williamson County, residents also can call the Bluebonnet Trails Community Services crisis line at 800-841-1255 or 9-1-1 for an immediate crisis where connection to mental health resources is available.
Texas Health and Human Services Commission reports a 36.7% increase in suicide between 2000 and 2020, representing a Texan losing their life by suicide approximately every two hours. Williamson County reported 72 suicides confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2021, and 90 suicides for 2022 that are being confirmed.
"Every September, we bring awareness to Suicide Prevention month. As a county, we work hard to provide mental health services and reduce the stigma of individuals seeking those services. Every life matters, and the world is a better place with you in it," said Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey.