From Healthy Harford:
October 4 – 10 Is Mental Illness Awareness Week
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), nearly 1 in 4 Americans are affected by mental illness, so odds are we all know at least one person who is struggling. Unfortunately, some of those people ultimately see suicide as the only solution to end their suffering. Nationally, more than 41,000 people die each year in the United States by suicide, and according to the US Surgeon General’s report, for every person who dies by suicide, more than 30 other attempts were made. Over the last six years, 176 deaths in Harford County were identified as suicide, ranking us fifth in the State for suicide completions.
The good news is that a wide range of individuals, public health agencies, government agencies and community partners in Harford County are working diligently to raise awareness about mental health, to reduce the stigma of mental illness and to improve access to mental health treatment. Treatment and support include medications, counseling, lifestyle changes, peer support groups and rehabilitation programs.
Below are some important resources that may be helpful to you or someone you know. Please join Healthy Harford in addressing the devastating impact of suicide on our community and spreading the message that mental health is treatable and recovery is possible. Show your support by taking the StigmaFree pledge at www.nami.org/stigmafree.
Free Crisis Intervention and Emergency In-Home Mental Health Care
Harford County Mobile Crisis: 410-638-5248 – 8 a.m. to midnight, 7 days/week
Maryland Crisis Hotline: 1-800-422-0009
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – 24 hours/day, 7 days/week
Training & Educatoin
October 9 – Free Mental Health First Aid Training – Open to the Public
Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that can help communities understand mental illnesses, seek timely intervention, and save lives.
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Harford Memorial Hospital
Free; registration required. Call 1-800-515-0044 to register
Harford Cable Network Public Health Matters – Suicide Prevention
30-minute video featuring Susan Kelly, Health Officer with the Harford County Health Department talking with local mental health experts.
County Council Recognizes Suicide As Countywide Concern
Last night, Harford County Health Officer Susan Kelly and Social Work Services Director Paula Nash made a presentation to County Council (which also functions as Harford County’s Board of Health) regarding suicide in our community. Unfortunately, suicide is a serious public health concern in Harford County, as our rate remains well over the State average.
The Harford County Health Department, Healthy Harford, The Harford County Government, Friends R Family Foundation and numerous partners are currently working on a Local Health Improvement Coalition (LHIC)-Behavioral Health Workgroup on a Suicide Prevention Plan. This suicide prevention plan includes a comprehensive approach focusing on the community, emergency department/physicians and persons in crisis, and support for family members/friends.
The first step in suicide prevention includes raising awareness in the county. LHIC partner efforts have included education and training for physicians and other medical providers to help recognize patients at risk for suicide, development of a mental health resource tool kit to help link people to care, and free training for community members on how to identify people suffering with mental health issues. (Next class is October 9th at Harford Memorial Hospital. See above article for details).
If you were unable to attend the meeting, you can watch the broadcast on Harford Cable Network.
Public Invited to Annual Local Health Improvement Coalition Meeting
You’re invited to hear about new Harford County partnerships focused on improving the health of our community as well as an update on the work happening around our top health priorities: obesity, tobaccos and behavioral health. Light lunch provided.
Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Place: Harford Community College, Chesapeake Center
Kindly register to Mallory McCloskey at email@example.com by Friday, Oct. 9.