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Suicide in Cave Creek

Cave Creek, Arizona

No matter where you live, whether in Cave Creek, Arizona, or in the heart of Phoenix, life can feel overwhelming at times to the point of despair. Especially in recent months with the upheaval around COVID-19, lost jobs, and political unrest, it can be hard to see the end of the tunnel when we will recover a new sense of normalcy.

For a growing number of people, these challenges have seemed particularly dark and some folks have made the choice to end their lives by committing suicide. In recent months, nearby Pima County has seen a higher rate of suicides, likely related to stress from COVID-19. For those who have loved them, grief and loss fills the space where their loved ones once resided.

Many in Cave Creek, Arizona, will remember a time back in 2018 when 31 teenagers from the East Valley committed suicide in the span of 15 months. With families and networks of friends left devastated, hardly any communities were left unaffected by this terrible loss. One homicide detective shared how he dreaded having to tell parents or relatives their loved ones committed suicide. While we at BioTeamAZ do not have to break the news to families, we do see the looks on their faces afterwards when we arrive to clean up the bodily fluids after a suicide so they can begin the grieving process in a clean environment.

Between the isolation, financial difficulties, and lack of personal support, we know many in Cave Creek may be struggling during this time and considering suicide. We urge you to pause, reach out, and remember that even a lot of issues compiled together hardly ever dictates what your tomorrows will be. Life is full of all kinds of changes and surprises.

While our staff at BioTeamAZ are dedicated to providing fast and thorough suicide cleanup to our neighbors in Cave Creek, we would much rather know people are reaching out and finding the help they need to wake up to a new day. If you ever need a shoulder to lean on, there are multiple resources you can turn to for a listening ear who can help you make it through:

Suicides in Arizona Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Suicide Helping Hands

For everyone in Phoenix and throughout Arizona, we are all dealing with the new reality of living with COVID-19 in some form or another. From lost jobs, grieving loved ones, canceled events, and self-isolation, our lives are each effected in some way. It has not been easy for anyone and the longer it goes, the problems for some can compound one upon another. For some among us, it will seem like suicide is the only way out.

In recent news, Arizona call centers for people with anxiety or thoughts of suicide have experienced a higher influx of people needing to talk with a counselor. For those considering suicide, problems have quickly compounded to such an extent that they see no way out of the life they are living and no reality beyond the one they are in. Problems can include:

  • Jobs lost
  • Fears of what may come such as losing homes or unable to pay utilities
  • Health concerns
  • Separation from friends and family
  • Feelings of powerlessness
  • Feeling trapped inside
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Not knowing how long this will go
  • living in an abusive environment
  • financial crisis
  • anxiety and stress
  • loneliness

All of us here in Phoenix have been dealing with some of these issues in one form or another and have had to create our own coping skills to deal with our feelings and the issues we face. Even before self-isolation, some of us have also been struggling with mental health problems, addictions, or paying bills and now, without the ready support of friends and family nearby, all these problems can be heightened and suicide starts looking like a good way out of a life we no longer want.

Ways we can each cope and help one another

During a crisis, the situations we are in can feel like they will go on forever and it is easy to tell ourselves a story that fills us with grief and anxiety while not seeing any way out. Even for those with good coping skills and a supportive environment, such a drastic change in lifestyle can be overwhelming. A person who is feeling anxious and someone with thoughts of suicide is not a clear-cut line – there is a whole spectrum of stress people are dealing with. A friend or family member who seems to be dealing with the crisis well may still feel the darkness closing in.

Even while we need to stay far apart from one another, there are still ways we can come together, ways we can cope with the anxiety in ourselves and help those we care about. Whether someone is dealing with thoughts of suicide or simply wants out of the house to be with other people, we can reach out to lift another’s spirits and by doing so, lift our own. Actions you can take today include:

  • Check in with other people: Take the time to call or video chat with a friend, family member, or neighbor. Just talking with another person and getting to share how you’re doing can be a huge mood lifter in these times.
  • Find ways to connect: Even though we can’t sit down together, we can still find ways to connect with supportive people. Reading to a grandchild over video, playing online games, sending mail or packages, or waving through windows can remind us we are not alone.
  • Exercise regularly: Exercising can lift our moods and keep us healthy
  • Stick to a routine: Having a predictable routine gives us a sense of control, certainty, and choice. This is especially helpful if our routine includes progressing on a project or learning a new skill – anything that helps us remember there is a future once this pandemic is past.
  • Limit your intake of news: The news is designed to be attention grabbing as well as informative. While news stories can be helpful in finding resources, they can also paint a grim picture and make the world seem much darker than it actually is. Look also for the uplifting stories and the news of people helping each other.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Alcohol influences our moods and emotions. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or depression, avoid drugs and alcohol.
  • Lock up weapons and guns: If you have someone in your household thinking of committing suicide, remove any threats such as guns or pills or lock them away.
  • Call for help: Though we are isolating, help is still available. You are not alone. Crisis lines are still there to talk with people. Whether you are having thoughts of suicide or just need another person on the other end of the line, people are there to help you. Call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

Help is a phone call away

Here in Phoenix, Arizona, help for anxiety or suicidal thoughts is just a short call away. Counselors are there to talk with people who need a listening ear, a connection to resources, or a supportive shoulder to lean on whether you are going through a difficult time or are considering suicide. You are never alone.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

Crisis Response Network: Crisis Response Network, Inc., the Arizona call center for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, operates a crisis response hotline and a continuum of crisis services 24/7/365 to anyone who may be experiencing a behavioral health emergency. Our services also include dispatching of mobile response teams, and SMI Eligibility Determination for the State of Arizona. The local number is (602) 770-4972.

Murder – Suicide in South Phoenix

Murder Suicide South Phoenix

Whenever a crime is committed needing biohazard cleanup, BioTeamAZ is there for those left behind to make sure the area is cleaned up and the infected materials properly disposed of. Though it can be difficult to walk into tragic scenes, we know we are helping those who need it most with a skillset we’ve honed from years of experience.

Recently, a murder-suicide that took place in South Phoenix and our hearts went out to all involved. Though it is still unclear what happened, 27-year-old Brian Santiago shot Sabrina Miran-Garcia, 52, outside in the front yard then he returned to the house to shoot 53-year-old Gonzalo Augustin before turning the gun on himself in a different part of the home. It has been determined all three lived in the house but the relationship they had with each other or why the shooting occurred has not been released. Our thoughts are with those who lost loved ones in this tragedy.

So often, such crimes leave behind far more questions than there are answers. Even though we know we can’t bring people’s loved ones back or give survivors the resolution they seek, we can be there for them in such situations by cleaning up the soiled material left behind from a murder-suicide and preventing it from causing further harm in an already tragic scene.

Cleaning up blood and bodily fluids, even that of a loved one, is never something you should do. Notwithstanding the deep emotional trauma such a cleanup can inflict, most people don’t know how to properly clean up such substances or have the professional cleaners to do the job correctly so the area is truly clean. Our team at BioTeamAZ is well-trained cleaning up biohazards form a murder-suicide and have had years of experience cleaning up after a large variety of events and situations in all different types of environments.

Our team at BioTeamAZ is dedicated to being there for our neighbors throughout the wider Phoenix area and around Arizona whenever you need us for situations such as crime, accidental deaths, and hoarding. Discreet and compassionate, we know what it takes to get you on the road to recovery and to restore your property to pre-event conditions.

We are always glad to be there for those who need professional biohazard cleanup throughout Phoenix and all of Arizona.

If you have a situation needing cleanup or have any questions, we are always here to help you.

The Warning Signs of Teen Suicide

Teen Suicide

Whenever we at Bio Team AZ are called to clean up after a suicide, especially a teen suicide, our hearts break for the victim and for their families and friends. Even while we do the work of cleaning, we hope that one day cleaning up after suicides is a service which will no longer be needed.

No matter who we are, most of us either know someone personally who has committed suicide or have heard of someone trying it. Here in Arizona, teens especially are at risk for suicide with 12.4 out of every 100,000 teens aged 15-19 years old committing suicide in 2018 and many times more attempting it. In fact, throughout Arizona, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 15-34. Each one of these people are someone’s child, brother, sister, cousin, and friend.

We at BioTeamAZ care about the teens in our community and the families we work with and are greatly concerned with the number of teenagers committing suicide throughout Arizona each day. As adults, we know that a fight with a friend, problems at home, or a breakup are passing things and that life does get better over time. When you’re a teenager, though, you don’t have as much experience with which to compare what you’re going through and each situation can feel overwhelming. Combined with other factors in a teen’s life such as substance abuse or mental health issues, and they can feel that life is bleak and be at risk for suicide without anyone realizing the danger.

Signs of a teen at risk for suicide

We hear so often to look for the classic signs of depression such as ongoing sadness in order to help those at risk for suicide. When it comes to depression in teenagers, though, the signs are a bit different and it’s important to remember what these different risks are when talking with the teens in our lives. Instead of sadness or crying, a teen may isolate themselves, lose interest in school, or become angry and aggressive. This loss of interest or anger among other signs are important to look for and respond to in an honest and open manner. Instead of treating these signs as something to be glossed over, we need to talk with the teens in our lives and help them find the assistance they need. Signs of a depressed teen at risk for suicide include:

  • feeling like a burden
  • being isolated
  • increased anxiety
  • feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • increased substance use
  • looking for a way to access lethal means
  • increased anger or rage
  • extreme mood swings
  • expressing hopelessness
  • sleeping too little or too much
  • talking or posting about wanting to die
  • making plans for suicide

If the teenagers in your life don’t feel comfortable talking with you about suicide, make sure they have other trusted adults in their lives whom they can go to when they need help or a listening ear. Family members, coaches, teachers, pastors, adult friends, or parents of their friends can all serve in this role and you can let them know this is something the teenager in your life is dealing with. When talking with your teenager, be frank about your concerns and be someone they feel safe talking to. Keep in mind that even if you don’t think the teen you know is at risk for suicide, they may be dealing with a friend’s suicide attempt or someone else they know dying. No matter what is going on, always keep the lines of communication open and get them the help they need if you see anything that alarms you. There was a recent article written in AZ Central on what Arizona is doing to prevent more teenage suicide.

If you know of someone at risk for suicide

If you know of someone at risk for suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741. Additional help can be found by contacting the Teen Lifeline at 602-248-8336 (TEEN) or statewide in Arizona at 800-248-8336 (TEEN).

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