The following is from the weekly newsletter of the Yorktown-based Alliance for Safe Kids.
Suicide, the ‘S’ word, is a topic most of us prefer to avoid. Yet, if we ask the questions, almost every one of us has been, or knows someone who has been touched by the loss of someone to suicide. In the United States, an individual dies by suicide every 14 ½ minutes – more than 4 people in the time it takes to watch an hour-long television show. Many, possibly most, of those deaths were preventable.
To address the problem in our communities, we are excited to announce a new coalition. The Westchester Putnam Suicide Prevention Coalition, or WPSPC, is comprised of individuals and representatives of community agencies and local government offices. The goal of the WPSPC is to increase public awareness of the problem of suicide, and to inform the community about effective means of suicide prevention as well as about the availability of local support services.
WPSPC will host trainings in recognized evidence-based suicide prevention and postvention programs. Upcoming trainings, links to webinars, and other resources will be posted on our web site, www.WestPutSPC.org.
WestPut SPC is co-led by the Alliance for Safe Kids and Barbara Bernstein, Ph.D. MPH.
Barbara Bernstein, PhD, MPH is a licensed psychologist and currently serves as Co-Chair of the NYS Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer Consortium (SIST) and has been trained under the auspices of NYS Office of Mental Health in the ASIST, safeTALK, QPR and Project Connect models. Dr. Bernstein has spoken on several community panels about suicide prevention, and for the Mental Health Association of Westchester (MHA), has organized significant conferences on suicide prevention and intervention. She serves as Newsletter Co-Editor of the Community Health Planning and Policy Development section of the American Public Health Association.
Please contact 9-1-1 for immediate assistance.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK is available 24/7 and is free and confidential. The Lifeline provides support and information for anyone who is feeling sad, hopeless, thinking of suicide, concerned about another, or seeking information about mental health. More information about the Lifeline is available on their website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
In Westchester County, the Crisis Prevention and Response Team can be reached at (914) 925-5959.
United Way of Hudson Valley 2-1-1 offers a searchable database of local resources, including counseling and support groups. http://www.hudson211.org.