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A Cop, A Social Worker, A Pastor And A Crisis Specialist Discuss Suicide Intervention

Shirley Wang
How do first responders intervene in crisis situations? Listen to our conversation with Officer Alton Poole, Patient Advocate Amy DeLay, Pastor Erling Shultz and CommUnity Director Rochelle Honey-Arcement.

 When a person takes their own life, survivors are left with so many questions. The first question is often, was there something I could have done to help? 

On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with people who do help. We hear from first responders Alton Poole, State Police Officer and University of Iowa Outreach Coordinator for the Dept. of Public Safety, Pastor Erling Shultz from the United Methodist Church in Iowa Falls and Patient Advocate at His Hands Free Clinic Amy DeLay. 

“It’s being in the middle of the ocean and watching someone drown and not knowing what kind of lifeline do you throw out to that person," Officer Poole says.

We also talk with Director of Mobile Crisis Outreach at CommUnity Rochelle Honey-Arcement about training citizen interventionists. She says that sometimes, the hardest question to ask is "are you thinking of killing yourself?"

"A lot of people are afraid to ask because we don't know what to do," Honey-Arcement says. "That's why we need to know the resources available to us and how to get somebody to the help they need. Allow people to really talk about the situation and what's got them there. Just be in that muck with them and sit with them in their pain."

Each of them encounter crisis situations in vastly different ways. Through their personal stories, they tell us what they've learned about effective suicide intervention.

If someone in your life or you need assistance, the National Suicide Hotline number is 1-800-273-TALK.

This program originally aired 8/28/2019