XENIA — Greene County Public Health (GCPH), along with Mental Health & Recovery Board of Clark, Greene and Madison Counties (MHRB) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is using September to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal thoughts to treatment services.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
“Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition,” GCPH officials said in a release. “Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.”
According to GCPH, every year thousands of individuals die by suicide, leaving behind friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss.
“In many cases, friends and families affected by a suicide loss (often called ‘suicide loss survivors’) are left in the dark. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly,” the release continues.
COVID-19 and subsequent social isolation, economic stress and generalized anxiety threatens to worsen an already growing problem, officials believe. In response, MHRB created a suicide prevention and awareness campaign called #JustAsk About Suicide Prevention.
The #JustAsk campaign focuses on three areas of prevention:
— Reducing stigma resulting from misconceptions of suicide
— Addressing suicide by name when speaking with an individual at risk for suicide
— Encouraging people to check in early and often about mental health with their loved ones
MHRB services include:
Clark Greene Madison Warmline: Call 937-662-9080 24/7, free and confidential peer support by phone
Responder Resilience Program: Call 937-727-4097
Front-line workers (including those in behavioral health, education, fire/EMS, mental and physical health workers, public health, teachers, and law enforcement) can call 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for a quick consultation and be connected to a care provider within 1-3 business days and three free counseling sessions.
Find a care provider: Visit mhrb.org/providers
Providers can be filtered by county and services provided through MHRB’s new provider directory or by calling MHRB during business hours at 937-322-0648.
QPR Training: Visit mhrb.org/events-training
Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training is a 90-minute, evidence-based suicide prevention curricula. QPR teaches anyone how to recognize warning signs of suicide and how to respond.
Other Greene County resources:
— Greene County Crisis Line: 937-376-8701
— Greene County Suicide Prevention Coalition; Contact: Bob Stolz, [email protected]
— Greene County LOSS Team; Contact: Chris Pinkelman, TCN Behavioral Health Services, Inc., [email protected]