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Valley group works hard to help prevent Arizona suicides

(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Arizona ranks 13th in the nation for the rate of suicide deaths. Statistics provided by St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center say that there’s one suicide every seven hours in the state compared to the national average of one in every 12 hours.

One Valley organization is working hard to get help to people who may feel like they’re at the end of their rope.

“We get around 950 calls a month for service,” said Dr. Dara Rampersad, the Senior Director of Crisis Services for Terros Health. “We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We average around 30 calls per day.”

Rampersad said that when Terros gets a call from someone threatening suicide, it sends out a two-person mobile crisis response team.

“We’re able to respond across Maricopa within usually 50 minutes of a crisis call, depending on the traffic and time of day, of course,” said Rampersad. He said with the assistance of police, then can reduce that response time on many calls to about 30 minutes.

“When the rubber hits the road, our folks that are on those crisis mobile teams (show) consumers in the community that there is another way besides claiming your life or feeling that things are hopeless or helpless,” Rampersad said.

The crisis teams save lives.

“Seventy-two to 75 percent of all of our calls are actually community stabilized, which means that they’re able to be left in place at home, with safety plans in place and resources available to them,” said Rampersad.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call Terros Health’s Crisis Hotline at 602-222-9444.

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