Saturday, November 18th, 2017

September is Suicide Prevention Month

Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States with one youth dying every four days in Indiana. One in nine high school students will attempt suicide while one in five will contemplate suicide. The age group that has seen the biggest increase in suicidal thoughts and attempts is the 15 to 19 year olds.

Youth in Huntington County are not immune. In 2016, 46 youth activated the Community Suicide Prevention Protocol. These youths were identified at being at risk of suicide and immediate response was initiated.

“Many of the young people we serve feel a sense of overwhelming helplessness making suicide a way of getting out of their current situation. We need to get to these young people before they reach this point,” Danielle Snyder, safe place coordinator said.

The good news is suicide is preventable. September has been recognized as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The Huntington County Commissioners has proclaimed the week of September 11 through September 17 Suicide Prevention Week in Huntington County. The intent is to bring awareness to the risk factors and warning signs of suicide in an effort to increase the number of ways people can get assistance if they are contemplating suicide.

The Youth Services Bureau and the Teen Suicide Prevention Task Force have numerous activities planned during the month of September. The 7th Annual Walk for Hope will be held on Saturday, September 16. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. with the event beginning at 7 p.m. at the Huntington North Fieldhouse. This event is designed to increase community awareness of suicide.

“Last year there were over 150 walkers, with many walking in remembrance of loved ones lost to suicide,” said Jan Williams, executive director.

The event can also be a fundraiser. All funds raised will be used in Huntington County for youth suicide prevention activities.

A free community training, QPR will be held on Wednesday, September 13 at the YSB office located at 1344 Maple Drive, from 5 to 7 p.m. The second training will be held Saturday September 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. These training sessions will provide the warning signs, risk factors and appropriate action steps associated with suicide.

“Suicide has a lasting impact not only on the person who dies, but for everyone who knows them,” said Williams.

Nearly 200,000 people are affected each year by suicide.

“People do not know how to respond to someone who has lost a loved one to suicide so they often times avoid the situation completely, which leaves the survivor to grieve alone,” stated Snyder.

To learn more about the walk, training or to obtain information about suicide prevention contact the Youth Services Bureau at (260) 356-9681 or visit the website at www.ysbofhuntingtonco.org.