Chesterfield County Prevention Services
Sept. 1, 2021
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — As residents work to reassemble their personal and professional lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chesterfield County Prevention Services Coalition is retooling its approach to Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month throughout September with a new initiative.
Called “Resilient Chesterfield,” county and regional human service providers, including Chesterfield Mental Health Support Services, Robin’s Hope and Family Advocacy Creating Education and Services (FACES), are working together to promote this year’s theme of recovering, adapting and growing in the face of adversity and challenges as a way of promoting better mental health and ultimately preventing suicide.
“The past year and a half has been challenging for many residents and children,” said Melissa Ackley, Chesterfield Prevention Services manager. “People are searching for ways to cope with so much change, loss and isolation. While our traditional suicide prevention month focus has been on helping people to identify and respond to signs of suicide, this year we decided to shift our focus to helping our community find ways to return to being healthy and hopeful.
The “Resilient Chesterfield” initiative is taking a more personable approach to addressing suicide awareness and prevention in the county.
A select group of people who live, work, play and do business in Chesterfield have shared their personal stories of resilience to help others cope with a variety of challenges they may be experiencing. Their videos of resilience and overcoming trauma and tragedy can be viewed at www.chestefield.gov/preventsuicide, and will also be shared over the county’s social media pages.
Furthermore, the Prevention Services Coalition has partnered with the Chesterfield County Public Library to offer a display of books at each branch location about building resilience in yourself, loved ones and the community.
The coalition will also be hosting a free, virtual “Raise Your Voice About Suicide Prevention” workshop from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13. The workshop aims to teach community members the facts about suicide and how to identify someone in crisis and connect them with the help they need. To register click here, or visit the calendar available at www.chesterfield.gov/preventsuicide.
“This year’s theme emphasizes that connecting with help is a sign of resilience,” Ackley said. “It’s okay not to be okay and asking for and accepting help are always important signs of strength.”
If you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide, please reach out to the Chesterfield Crisis Intervention at 804-748-6356, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 741741.