Police Chief

Ask the Chief

“Ask The Chief” is a weekly post allowing readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in the city of Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance our community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs, and the Department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us. 

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Dec 31

December 31, 2018 - Reach Out For Help

Posted on December 31, 2018 at 9:16 AM by Kate Berg

December 31, 2018

Ask the Chief

Q: During one of your presentations, you mentioned the “disease of despair." I worry about my friends and wonder what I can do if they should ever become depressed or desperate?

Black and gray image of a man hugging his knees above the words, "Depression; Suicide; Reach Out

A: You have already taken the first step, ask for help! If your friend is in immediate danger, "suicidal," call 911 immediately. Minnesota Health Basics website defines the disease of despair as health conditions some experts tie to the hopelessness that can accompany economic distress – which is on the rise in Minnesota. The three leading diseases in the category are alcohol, prescription drug and illegal drug overdose; suicide; and alcoholic liver disease/cirrhosis of the liver.

I am not a health care professional, but I can connect you and your friend to some helpful resources and express to you that RWPD and I care. Through my law enforcement and military training, I can provide some common tips: first, the best thing we can do is LISTEN. Don’t try to tell them “It will pass” or “Get over it," just listen. Second, whenever anyone expresses thoughts of harming themselves, take it seriously. Stay with them and call 911. Third, if you are experiencing thoughts of hurting yourself, reach out for help.  Listed below are numerous resources to help you. It is not a sign of weakness, everyone needs help once in a while.  Do not be afraid to ask for help and seek care from a health care professional.

In 2017, RWPD responded to 98 calls of attempted suicide; as of December 18, RWPD has responded to 118 calls of attempted suicide for the year 2018. During the holiday season, depression and anxiety increase due to many factors such as finances, loneliness, and seasonal disorder, but I want you and your friend to know that we are on this "life" journey together and we need to be there for each other. We live in a GREAT community with very caring people, so I want to encourage you to reach out for help. Our community has numerous resources, such as the YMCA, The Care Clinic, Goodhue County Social Services, area Churches, Food Shelf, and the Hope Coalition are just a few.  All you have to do...reach out. 

Your friends are fortunate to have you as their friend and for you to be there for them! 

1. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, located online at https://afsp.org/
2. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) - or online at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
3. Crisis Text Line – text TALK to 741741 or online athttps://www.crisistextline.org/
4. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at 800-950-6264 or online at https://www.nami.org/#
5. Minnesota Department of Health 1-888-345-0823
6. Mayo https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/suicide/care-at-mayo-clinic/mac-20378060

1. Minnesota Health Basic, online at http://mnhealthbasics.com/perspectives/minnesota-sees-rise-in-diseases-of-despair/

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