Suicide Awareness Campaign

Chesterfield Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition

The Chesterfield Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition brings together organizations in Central Virginia who are working to educate residents about mental illness, risk factors for suicide and support resources within our community.

Founded in 2015, the mission of the Chesterfield Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition is to increase the coordination of suicide prevention and awareness activities in Chesterfield through educational programs, community outreach and media efforts. The coalition is a collaborative organization comprised of representatives from community organizations that have a role in promoting suicide prevention and awareness in Chesterfield County. Member organizations provide a representative to monthly meetings and subcommittees and support coalition events. For more information about the coalition, including how to join, please email Melissa Ackley or call 804-706-2010.

Crisis Intervention

If you or someone you care about is having thoughts of suicide, reach out to Chesterfield Crisis Intervention 804-748-6356 or the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (by dialing 988).

  1. Teen Suicide Awareness
  2. Veteran Suicide Awareness
  3. Lock and Talk
  4. Resilient Chesterfield
  5. Resources 

Teen Suicide Awareness

ASK and ACT teen logo

Acknowledge, Care and Tell (ACT) to Prevent Suicide

Did you know that one person dies by suicide every 12 minutes in America? 

In Virginia, suicide is the:

  • 11th leading cause of death 
  • Second leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24 

Chesterfield County and the Chesterfield Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition are raising awareness about the risk of suicide, focusing on adolescents and young adults. 

During October and November 2017, the county and the coalition raised awareness about the risk of suicide in adolescents and young adults through a multifaceted, coordinated community-wide campaign. The goal of the campaign, “Ask the Question. Act to Prevent Suicide,” was 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. Often people, and particularly young people, are uncomfortable reaching out for help. And, those concerned about them, their friends and family, also are unsure of what to do. 

Suicide prevention is a focus area for Chesterfield County government and schools, and many non-profits and other community organizations. This campaign provided a coordinated approach to increasing community awareness and cooperation within the county in addressing a shared concern. The 2017 campaign was the recipient of a National Association of Counties award. NACo awards recognize the ways local governments provide better, more innovative services to their residents, and strengthen communities across the country.

The coalition, through educational efforts, aims to help those who are contemplating suicide connect with people who can recognize warning signs and get them help.

If someone says:

  • "The world would be better off without me.”
  • “Nobody cares if I live or die.”

If they:

  • Give away special possessions
  • Become isolated from friends

Ask the question:

  • “Are you thinking about suicide?”

Suicide is preventable, but you need to ACT. 

If you have questions or would like more information, contact the Chesterfield Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition at 804-378-0035.

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Videos 

The coalition and the Department of Communications and Media created public service announcements:

Issues

  • People (particularly young people) are uncomfortable reaching out for help
  • People concerned about friends and family don’t know what to do

Campaign Goals 

  • Reduce the mental health stigma
  • Encourage people to reach out for help for themselves and others

Chesterfield County Public Schools 

Chesterfield County Public Schools is teaching a national suicide-prevention curriculum to students in grades seven and 10 called "SOS – Signs of Suicide Prevention Program."

This program 

  • Provides students tools to identify the signs and symptoms of depression, suicide and self-injury in themselves and their peers
  • Teaches students how to take action
  • Uses a simple and easy-to-remember acronym, ACT

ACT® (Acknowledge, Care and Tell)  

  • 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.