September is Suicide Prevention Month. Start a Conversation.

September is National Suicide Prevention month. Take a moment to learn about strategies and resources available so you can help prevent suicide.

The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Franklin County, an initiative of the Healthy Franklin County Mental Health Task Force, focuses on eliminating suicides within Franklin County, by increasing awareness of suicide as preventable and increasing the availability of mental health resources. 

You can’t always see pain. Did you know?

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–14 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.
  • Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in Pennsylvania with one suicide occurring, on average, every five hours in the state.
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among 25 to 34-year-olds and the 3rd leading cause of death for age 10-24-year-olds in Pennsylvania.

Anyone could be struggling with suicide. There are a variety of strategies and resources available to someone contemplating suicide and to those who are trying to prevent someone from harming themselves. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential resources including a crisis hotline and resources for youth, disaster survivors, veterans, Native Americans, LGBTQ+ community, loss survivors, attempt survivors, those who are deaf and hard of hearing, and Ayuda En Español. 

Free Suicide Prevention Training in Franklin County

The Mental Health Association of Franklin/Fulton Counties (MHAFF) provides free suicide prevention training utilizing an evidence-based intervention model, QPR, which can be facilitated on-site or provided online.

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer – 3 simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Each year thousands of Americans, like you, are saying “Yes” to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling, or neighbor. QPR can be learned in our Gatekeeper course in as little as one hour.

National Suicide Prevention Month Activities in Franklin County

  • September 6th at 9:30am - Franklin County Commissioners Proclamation regarding National Suicide Prevention Month, located at 14 N. Main Street in Chambersburg.
  • September 8th at 10am - Common Grounds – QPR Suicide Prevention Training at Coyle Free Library, faciliated by the MHAFF. Free and open to the public. Facebook event page.
  • September 17th at 7:30pm – Showing of the documentary film “The Ripple Effect” at the Chambersburg Mall. Represenatives from the Suicide Prevention Coalition and MHAFF will be available for a Q&A after the movie. Tickets are $12 and must be ordered on line before September 10th. Tickets are $12; 50 tickets must be sold to bring this film to its first PA showing. Order tickets here. Facebook event page.
  • September 19th at 7:30am - Summit Health Employer Roundtable– QPR Suicide Prevention Training at Coyle Free Library faciliated by the MHAFF. Free and open to employers. Register by September 17.
  • September 20th at 12:15pm – Chambersburg Rotary Presentation – Suicide Awareness Presentation by the MHAFF. For Rotary members only.

Listen to a recent podcast with Kenny Wuertenberg of the MHAFF where he talks about the causes, warning signs, and prevention of suicide – especially as it pertains to residents in Franklin County.

Need Help?

Just feeling anxious? Need reassurance?

Crisis lines, counselors, intervention programs, and more are available to you.

Crisis Text Line

Connect with a real-life Crisis Counselor for free 24/7

Text HOME to 741741

Suicide Prevention Coalition of Franklin County

Staffed by trained certified peer specialists and call specialists who have been there.

717-264-2916 or 1-800-593-8351 | mhaff.org/programs

Keystone Health Crisis Intervention Program

Funded by Franklin/Fulton County MH/ID

(717) 264-2555 or 866-918-2555 | KeystoneHealth.org

For more suicide prevention resources and educational materials, click here.

*September is also National Recovery Month, which focuses on increasing awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrates the people who recover. To learn more about Recovery Month activities in Franklin County, check out this blog.