Suicide Prevention – Montco Cares
Suicide Prevention at the Commissioner’s Meeting
On Thursday, September 12, 2013, I attended the Montgomery County Commissioners meeting to support the county’s efforts to educate the public about suicide prevention during National Suicide Prevention Week. After a moment of silence to remember those who had lost their lives, we heard from various members of the Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Task Force who have been spearheading an effort to “stop the silence” that surrounds suicide. Because of the stigma surrounding suicide, many people do not get the help they need.
The Task Force, whose members include the Montgomery County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities, Montgomery County Emergency Services and NAMI-Montgomery County, came together to share information, resourses and initiatives to help in suicide prevention. The suicide rate in Montgomery County has increased 83.9% from 2005 to 2011. Suicide is second leading cause of death in 25-34 year olds and third leading cause of death in 10-24 year olds.
Nancy Wieman, Deputy Administrator of the county’s Department of BH/DD, introduced a new website called Montcocares which was created by the organizations on the task force. Wieman, who is the chair of the task force, said the website was designed to be a resource center on suicide prevention and features information, facts and resources on suicide and what needs to be known after an attempt. It is also a resource for organizations related to suicide awareness and prevention.
Wieman said the task force wants everyone to know that Montgomery County does care when it comes to suicide prevention.
Community Advocates of Montgomery County and Hopeworx Inc. applaud the efforts of the Task Force to bring this important cause into the public eye as a Proclamation by the county commissioners, through the creation of the Montcocares website and the distribution of the Suicide Prevention Took Kits. The pocket-size tool kits are distributed to individuals and organizations who may come in contact with people contemplating suicide. It provides information for indentifying possible suicide risk, determining if an individual may be at risk, and intervening to safely help the individual. It is meant to complement a more comprehensive training on crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
I encourage you to visit Montcocares at www.montcocares.org and learn more about how you can help stop the silence and stigma of suicide.
Kathie Mitchell, Director of Community Advocates