Our joy for the classes of 2020 who are graduating from Teton County high schools this week is tempered by our sorrow and anguish at the loss of a young member of our community, who took his own life on Sunday. Our community is diminished with the death of this young man, who barely reached adulthood. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to his family and to all of his friends, to everyone whose life he touched, to his teachers and coaches, to the emergency medical and law enforcement personnel who cared for him at the very end.
We know that suicide can be contagious, though not in the traditional sense of the word. We encourage all of our readers and their families, particularly young people, who have been touched by this devastating loss to talk about it, either with their families or with trusted counselors, clergy members and respected adults. If any of you are struggling and this loss is tipping you over the edge, please reach out. Call someone. If you have a friend who is losing sight of the light, intervene. Talk to them. The only wrong thing to say is nothing at all.
The national suicide prevention lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255. More information and support is online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org. You can also text the Crisis Text Line at 741741, free.
There are several counselors in Teton County who can see youth and adults for anxiety and depression including Aaron and Rachel Skaggs, 590-9177; Cheri Peterson, 868-6902; Angela Dailey, 467-2700; Megan Burton 590-6991; Christine Gascon, 466-2011; and Center for Mental Health, 278-3205.
Additionally, Benefis Teton Medical Center (466-6085) offers access to counseling services and other medical providers, like Caralynn Moore, N.P., in Choteau (466-5165) and Frontier Family Practice in Fairfield (467-3447) can help people access counseling services and behavioral health treatment.
We have resources, and healing is possible. There is no shame in asking for help, or in asking someone whether they need help.