JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — After working to raise money through their now-annual "No-Shave November" campaign, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) says it has donated those funds to the United Way of Jackson County for suicide prevention efforts.
“While growing facial hair seems like a light-hearted way to raise money, we are keenly aware of the impact suicide has in our community,” said JCSO Sergeant Julie Denney. “Deputies see the devastation caused by suicide, but more often, they have the opportunity to help people experiencing a crisis to connect with the help they need.”
The agency raised more than $2,300 throughout November this year. Last year, the funds that JCSO raised helped to kickstart the United Way's "Shatter the Silence" campaign for suicide awareness. This year, JCSO said, the donations will help to keep that campaign going.
“These dollars will extend our ‘Shatter the Silence’ suicide prevention campaign,” said Dee Anne Everson, Executive Director of the United Way of Jackson County. “The No Shave November efforts from the employees of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is just one more way they save lives!”
JCSO said that their deputies both out on patrol and on-duty in the jail tend to work closely with mental health professionals during crisis situations.
"The No Shave November fundraiser creates an opportunity to bring added attention to suicide awareness, and to remind people of the services available in Jackson County," JCSO said in a statement.
According to Jackson County Mental Health Crisis and Outpatient Services Manager Rick Rawlins, there are many potential warning signs that a person is considering suicide. Among them are the following: the person talks about wanting to die; the person feels hopeless or overwhelmed; the person shows noticeable changes in mood or withdraws from others.
JCSO said that intervention is the key to helping someone who may be considering suicide. Both Rawlins and the "Shatter the Silence" campaign recommend that if you know someone showing warning signs, it's best to be direct and ask the question, "Are you thinking about killing yourself?"
Rawlins underscores the importance of listening to the person and allowing them to express what is occurring. It’s also a good idea to temporarily remove access to firearms — "a potentially lifesaving action," JCSO said.
There are multiple resources available locally to people in crisis, or for those who are concerned about someone else:
• 911 – call for help immediately if a person is actively threatening suicide
• Jackson County Mental Health
o Crisis Center, 140 S. Holly St. – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., walk-in hours
o 24/7 Crisis Line, (541) 774-8201
o Crisis Text Line, 741741
• National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255