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A Call To Tighten The Focus For Suicide Prevention

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Every day, week, and month of the year is claimed by multiple causes or diseases. Such designations have the purpose of raising awareness and funds. Suicide prevention is into this too.

The International Suicide Prevention Association promotes "World Suicide Prevention Day" on September 10, the American Association of Suicidology and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention back "National Suicide Prevention Week" in the US from September 10 to September 16 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is behind September as "National Suicide Prevention Month."

Social media will feature messages extolling suicide prevention, promotional events, trainings, conferences and so on. What is omitted in all of this messaging and imaging is some explication of exactly what suicide prevention is and how it can be accomplished.

There are different levels of suicide prevention. The one that is most needed is aimed at keeping people from becoming suicidal. To be sure we do not know a lot about doing this. So let's focus our advocacy and awareness-raising on calling for research and programs that will reduce the incidence of suicidal behavior through measures implemented before there are any signs of suicidality.

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What's Happening With Suicide Prevention In Southeast Pennsylvania

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

There are suicide prevention task forces in each of the five counties in the region. Each has an array of activities, events, and projects supporting suicide prevention.

The Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Task Force has a Children's Committee, an Adult Committee, and other groups. It conducts free QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) trainings and conducts many different activities to raise community awareness of suicide prevention,

The Delaware County Suicide Prevention Awareness Task Force hosts an annual regional suicide prevention conference and a walk-run every May.

The Chester County Suicide Prevention Task Force holds concerts and other community events promoting suicide prevention throughout the year.

The Bucks County Suicide Prevention Task Force has committees focused on emergency responders, family survivors, children and schools, statistics, intervention and postvention options. There is also a Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force.

The Philadelphia Suicide Prevention Task Force operates under the auspice of the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) of Greater Philadelphia holds a regional Out of Darkness Walk and engages in other activities supporting suicide prevention.

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MCES Expands Suicide Prevention Efforts

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

MCES helps adults experiencing psychiatric emergencies and serious mental health crises. Adults with severe suicidal ideation, those voicing specific threats of plans to take their lives, or those who made suicide attempts make up the majority of those served by our Crisis Center and Inpatient Care Unit.

In 2001, MCES expanded its role in suicide prevention beyond suicide crisis intervention and treatment. MCES initiated a Suicide Prevention Program to address measures to reduce suicide risk and behavior both in those we serve and in the community.

This has involved developing suicide prevention information for providers, emergency responders, clergy, and others, working with Survivors of Suicide (SOS) on support resources for those who have experienced a suicide, hosting the MontcoCares website that has links to a wide range of suicide prevention resources, being part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network, and much more.

MCES's suicide prevention efforts reach beyond Suicide Prevention SignMontgomery County such as the signs giving the 1-800-273-TALK suicide helpline number at regional rail stations throughout the metropolitan area.

Staff articles on suicide prevention appear in national publications. Recent examples include "Problem Gambling and Suicidal Behavior: A Primer for Law Enforcement" in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin and "What Corrections Needs to Know about Suicide Loss" on

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MCES Staffer Named "Crisis Center Rock Star"

Monday, August 21, 2017

Paul Butler, the assistant director of Crisis Intervention at MCES, was recently named a "Crisis Center Rock Star" by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network of Crisis Centers.

Paul was nominated for the honor with this message:

"(Paul) relates with empathy and professionalism to all callers. He routinely uses conference calling to immediately link caller to referral source and reaches out to EDs to offer assistance with any problem cases. He always follows up with callers he has worked with and many who spoke to other staff."

Click here to read an interview with Paul

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Stress Management Workshop Held for First Responder Spouses

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Michelle Monzo, the MCES Crisis Intervention Education Specialist, recently joined John Becker, Sprout Health Group, and 70 spouses of police officers, fire fighters, and EMTs to talk about the stresses both emergency responders and their families face.

The workshop was the first of its kind to be held in Montgomery County. It was a direct outgrowth of the Emergency Responder Suicide Prevention Forum co-sponsored by MCES in May at the Public Safety Academy in Conshohocken. The workshop was also held on the Public Safety Department's Campus.

Among the topics discussed in the two-hour session were recognizing and responding to job-related stress in a spouse or partner, resolving stress-related issues in the house, resources available to help with workplace stress, and the signs of such serious concerns as depression, PTSD, and suicide risk.

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Suicide Prevention