In a small community, the ripple effect of a suicide can touch just about everybody. In the wake of a recent suicide in Juneau on Tuesday, members of the Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition have been trying to get in touch with people who are affected by it.
Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition Training and Outreach Coordinator Jan Reece said in an interview Friday that the public suicide, which happened in public at Douglas Bridge, affects everyone from witnesses to emergency personnel who responded.
“It causes more people to be involved who may not have been involved if it had been in private,” Reece said.
People who have witnessed a suicide or are affected by a suicide might have a reaction, Reece said via email. Those reactions might include shock, numbness, detachment, a change in appetite, difficulty sleeping, depression, irritability, guilt, hyper-vigilance, isolating behavior, compulsive behavior or avoidance of the area where the suicide occurred.
People looking for more information can contact Reece at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Juneau Suicide Prevention can be found on Facebook, Instagram and juneausuicideprevention.org. The website has information about training sessions and opportunities to learn more.
The coalition also promotes the Careline, which is a confidential crisis line anyone can call for help. The number for that is 1-877-266-4357 (HELP).