By Dany Feinstein

I am sick and heartbroken by what I’ve seen happening in our community regarding suicides.  My heart, and my deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the families and friends.  Nothing will take away that pain and loss.

“No man is an island; and this is also an issue that affects us all.  I believe it needs to be brought more to the forefront of awareness. I am trying to do that on Facebook and here in the newspaper –…hence, this letter.

Even with all the love, support and resources in the world, some suicides, regrettably, will not be able to be prevented.  But I believe that one person can make a difference; and one person can save a life. And, I believe we have many of those ‘one persons’ here.

The excessively high rate of suicides in this county, compared to the entire nation, indicates a very serious problem that needs to be addressed more aggressively.  It is my understanding that, as of 2014, White Pine County rates number 5 in suicides out of 3100 counties across the nation.  Number 5 out of 3100!!  And that is up from number 9 in 2006.  That is horrific!

It is my opinion that we, as a community, need to rally on what appears to be the biggest problem in White Pine County.  While there are some resources available, they are not nearly enough – not even close.  Many who seek help locally find that the waiting list to get it is weeks or months.

In addition to obtaining or setting aside more funds from federal, state, county and city governments, one idea I had was to gather a list of volunteers who want to get involved to help do more in different ways.  Perhaps, we could set up a call list of people who would be willing to take calls, maybe in 1-2 hours shifts – not to counsel, but just to listen, be a friend, and refer to appropriate resources.  The list could be distributed to students and adults. Another idea is for a central helpline. Years ago, I worked on a help line and when one number was busy, the call was rerouted to the next person in line.  Perhaps, Verizon or AT&T could donate that and help set it up.  From what I understand, in that situation, professional training would be required.  Fine.

I’m sure that most of us, if we saw someone in distress at the Post Office, grocery store or wherever, would offer a kind word, helping hand or more.  That is just humanity; and that is what I’ve seen in White Pine County and what makes me proud to be a part of it. Maybe a volunteer call list is one place to start; it’s just a thought.

A lot of help is needed to impact this situation; no doubt. We need to start somewhere, though – taking what we have to work with now and going further with it.  I don’t have all of the answers – not even a small part.  But I want to help, as I know a lot of you do, too.  All I know is something needs to be done NOW.  Thank you for listening.