Suicide does not discriminate, affecting people of all genders, ages, and ethnicities. Many different factors may contribute to someone making a suicide attempt, depression being one of the lead reasons. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), suicide is the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.
This fall, to help create awareness about this community mental health issue, For All Seasons kicks off its 3rd Annual NO MATTER WHAT . . . YOU MATTER Suicide Prevention Campaign the week of October 4 through 12, 2019. The Campaign kicks off on Friday, October 4, 2018, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Bartlett Pear Inn at 28 South Harrison Street in Easton. The free event will include champagne and hors d’oeuvres and live music. The event is part of Discover Easton’s First Friday stroll through the local galleries and shops in Easton and provides the opportunity to learn more about what For All Seasons is doing to help those in crisis.
In 2018, the campaign raised $20,000 from 21 participating Easton businesses which helped to support same-day mental health crisis appointments offered by the agency. This year, 24 Easton businesses are participating in the weeklong event, donating a portion of sales on specific dates during the campaign week, along with 26 business sponsors.
This year there are 26 business sponsors of the Suicide Prevention Campaign, including A Time to Heal Physical Therapy, Allison Szczukowski, Ashley Insurance, Avalon Foundation, Avery Hall Insurance Group, Baird Wealth Management, Bartlett Pear, Bay Imprint, Berrier Limited, Chesapeake Culinary Center, Chuck Mangold Jr. Associate Broker, Computers of Easton , Diane Flagler, Discover Easton, Easton Eye Care, Fitness Rx, Hill’s Drug Store, In Memory of Julius H. George, Jr., Kevertin Pet Resort, Lorri Wilson Clarke, Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Old Mill Deli, Rise Up Coffee, Talbot County Free Library, The BBQ Joint, The Trippe Gallery, the Star Democrat, and WCEI and WINX Radio.
For All Seasons hopes that by discussing the signs and symptoms associated with suicide that it can raise awareness about the issue in our community. Because family and friends are often the first to recognize the warning signs of suicide, they can be critical to helping an individual find treatment with a provider who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), for every suicide, 25 suicide attempts are made. For All Seasons wants people to know that if they think a friend or family member is considering suicide, they should reach out and start a conversation. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life. The following are three steps to help people begin the conversation:
1) Ask directly – “Are you having suicidal thoughts?” – Let them know you care.
2) Stay and Listen – Let them share their thoughts and feelings.
3) Get help – Connect them with a friend, family member or a therapist at For All Seasons.
Beth Anne Langrell, Director of For All Seasons, comments, “For All Seasons hopes through this campaign to engage the community in ways that it can help with suicide prevention. This year, our campaign coincides with a new community offering by our staff – our Mental Health First Aid training. This community training prepares individuals to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis.”
Starting October 1, For All Seasons staff will provide an eight-hour training course which provides the tools for members of the community to identify when someone might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem and connect them with the appropriate care. The training is available to churches, businesses, coaches, and civic organizations.
Just as CPR helps even those without clinical training assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis. A 5-step action plan guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support. In just 10 years, Mental Health First Aid has become a full-blown movement in the United States – more than one million people are certified Mental Health First Aides.
Throughout the year, For All Seasons brings awareness to the community about such issues as suicide, sexual assault, trauma, human trafficking, and mental health needs. To find out how to get involved with the NO MATTER WHAT . . . YOU MATTER Suicide Prevention Campaign contact Denae Spiering at 410-822-1018, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To request Mental Health First Aid training through the For All Seasons Center for Learning, contact Katie Pittsinger at 410-822-1018, email email@example.com.
For All Seasons serves Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne, and Talbot counties. For All Seasons Rape Crisis Center offers certified sexual assault victim advocates; counseling and support groups, free and confidential services in English and Spanish, support in the hospital, police department, and court, and referrals to social and legal services. For All Seasons English Hotline is 1-800-310-RAPE (7273) and Spanish Hotline is 410-829-6143.