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10-13-17 County Tackles Suicide Prevention with Campaign Targeting Teens and Young Adults
 
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Executive Director, Community Services Board
Debbie Burcham

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Community Services Board 

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(804) 748-1227
TDD (804) 768-7200
FAX (804) 768-9283

Crisis Intervention
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(804) 748-6356
 


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Chesterfield, VA 23832-0092

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6801 Lucy Corr Boulevard
Chesterfield, VA 23832
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2017 News Releases

For Immediate Release

County Tackles Suicide Prevention with Campaign Targeting Teens and Young Adults

October 13, 2017
Mental Health Support Services

One person dies by suicide every 12 minutes in U.S.  

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — In Virginia, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death, the second leading cause of death for young people, ages 15-34, and the third leading cause of death for ages 10-14. During October and November, Chesterfield County and the Chesterfield Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition are working to raise awareness about the risk of suicide, focusing on adolescents and young adults. The timeframe for the campaign was chosen to support several events, beginning with The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention’s 8th Annual Richmond Region “Out of the Darkness” Walk on Saturday, Oct. 14 and ending with the International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day on Saturday, Nov. 18.

“The goal is to reduce the stigma associated with mental health conditions and encourage people of all ages to reach out for help – for themselves and for loved ones,” said Melissa Ackley, Prevention Services manager for Chesterfield Mental Health Support Services and a member of the coalition.

“Too often people, and particularly young people, are uncomfortable reaching out for help. And, those concerned about their friends and family also are unsure of what to do,” added Ackley.

The goal of the campaign is to reduce the mental health stigma and encourage people to reach out for help for themselves and others. The coalition hopes that through educational efforts they can help those who are struggling, or even contemplating suicide, to connect with people who can recognize warning signs and get them help. The key message is that suicide is preventable, but people need to act. 

If someone says: “The world would be better off without me” Or “Nobody cares if I live or die.”

If they: Give away special possessions or become isolated from friends.

Those closest to them, family and friends, should ask the question: “Are you thinking suicide?” 

It’s a tough question to ask but by asking, and if the answer is yes, then help can be gotten immediately by calling Chesterfield Crisis Intervention at 748-6356 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

Chesterfield County Public Schools, also a member of the coalition, will be teaching a national suicide-prevention curriculum this fall to students in grades 7 and 10 called "SOS – Signs of Suicide Prevention Program," which provides students the tools to identify the signs and symptoms of depression, suicide and self-injury in themselves and their peers. The program uses a simple and easy-to-remember acronym, ACT® (Acknowledge, Care and Tell), to teach students action steps to take.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE: Listen to a friend, don't ignore threats.
  • CARE: Let the friend know you care.
  • TELL: Tell a trusted adult so they can help. 

The coalition and the Department of Communications and Media have created three public service announcements to help raise awareness and help prevent suicide. These PSAs have been created from teen and parent perspectives, and will be used on social media and sent to mainstream media from Oct. 15-Nov. 18. 

The coalition also has created a resource booklet for those who want to learn more about ways to prevent suicide and warning signs. The booklet will be available at coalition presentations and events, and it also can be obtained by calling 378-0035 or emailing facesorg1@verizon.net. For a PDF version of the booklet, event information and other information, visit http://www.chesterfield.gov/preventsuicide/.

Suicide Awareness 2017


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