Help Prevent Suicide- Share the Lifeline 988
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, a time for raising awareness, amplifying voices of survivors, spreading hope, and ensuring that individuals and families have access to resources to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help. Oregon Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now 988.
Suicide is an issue near and dear to my heart. My brother died of gun suicide 32 years ago. Sometimes, it seems like a long time ago and sometimes, it seems more recent. But it always seems preventable to me. One of the painful things for my mother, living in the same community as my brother, was that people would cross to the other side of the street, so they did not have to speak with her. Was this because they did not know what to say? Can we develop courage and a willingness to talk about mental health issues and suicide?
I spent my career as a family doctor, promoting depression screening and treatment in Primary Care. I think about the fragility and importance of mental health every day. I wonder about the things that can help prevent suicide like building community, allowing people to talk about life’s challenging questions, promoting hope for tomorrow, and better mental health treatment. I wonder how we, the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon, can open ourselves to share our own experiences with serious mental health issues to help demystify mental health issues and help people feel like they are not alone.
How can we help each other feel more connected and hopeful? Perhaps it comes through being open and honest about our own families and our own personal struggles. I am wondering about next steps. How can we support each other in this difficult time? I have some ideas, but I want to hear your ideas.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out. You are not alone. Depression is treatable. Suicide is preventable. Call 988 anytime, any day of the week. You can also reach out to the clergy.
Prayer for National Suicide Prevention Month
Creator, Redeemer, and Loving God, be with us, as we remember and grieve the loss of loved ones, who died of suicide. Grant them Your peace. Comfort us and strengthen us as we pray and care for all those who suffer from depression and hopelessness. Inspire us and guide us to reach out and help those who feel hopeless, depressed and alone. All these things we pray, in the name of Jesus. Amen
Blessings, Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Klein
- Oregon Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 988
- For Deaf & Hard of Hearing: 1-800-273-8255 or 988
- National Alliance for Mental Illness NAMI website
Elizabeth Klein MD “Liz” grew up on a farm in central California and graduated from the University of the Pacific with a BS in Chemistry/Biology in 1981. She graduated with honors from USC Medical School in 1986 and completed her Family Medicine Residency at UCLA Santa Monica in 1989 and completed a Masters in Medical Education in 1991 at USC. She worked in private practice in the 90s and was hired to start Providence Medical Group Family Medicine Milwaukie in 1999. She helped start the new family medicine training program at Providence Milwaukie Hospital in 2001. She specialized in treating patients from birth until death. She especially enjoyed teaching about the doctor-patient relationship, women’s issues, mental health, patient safety, physician wellness, and end of life. She has spoken nationally on Depression Screening and Management in Primary Care, Behavioral Health Integration, LGBT Care, and End of Life Care. Liz retired in 2017 so she could study and become a Deacon in the Episcopal Church. Liz was ordained as a Deacon in the Episcopal Church in 2021. She now serves at Grace Memorial Episcopal Church in NE Portland.
She is most proud of her marriage to her medical school sweetheart Dr. Arnold Klein for 39 years. She enjoys spending time with their two adult sons, Matthew and Sean. In her free time, she enjoys baking, photography, playing piano and hiking, and dancing with Arnie.