SPRINGFIELD — Ohio loses one person to suicide every five hours, according to Mental Health & Recovery Board of Clark, Greene & Madison Counties (MHRB).
In honor of National Suicide Prevention Month, local county behavioral health boards took action.
Throughout September, 11 county boards joined forces to implement Stand Up to Suicide, a month-long effort to train as many people as possible in a suicide prevention curriculum called Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR).
“This may be the biggest effort of its kind across Ohio,” said Heather Wells, Engage 2.0 project coordinator for Southwest Ohio, who led the training effort. “It’s modeled on a program that the City of Louisville, Kentucky undertook not long ago.”
Clark, Greene & Madison Counties have seen many suicides in recent years. In 2018 alone, the three-county board area had 62 deaths by suicide, according to Ohio Public Health Information Warehouse data.
In September, MHRB and its partners trained 460 individuals in QPR. Among those trained were: Fairborn High School and Baker Middle School staff, Fairborn Lions Club, graduate students at Wright State University, law enforcement officials from Clark, Greene, and Madison Counties, nursing students at Cedarville University, staff at United Senior Services, students at Wittenberg University, members of the Child and Family Collaborative in Clark County, staff at Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and DNA Community Center of Plain City.
Although National Suicide Prevention Month is over, MHRB staff is committed to suicide prevention efforts year-round. MHRB CEO Greta Mayer chairs the Committee to Address Suicide at the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities and serves on a statewide suicide prevention planning committee. MHRB adopts a leadership role in the suicide prevention coalitions in all three counties.
Anyone wishing to have their employees or workplace trained in suicide prevention can schedule a training by emailing Adriane Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.