Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2021

Contributed by Brandi Fitch
 
As we continue to work through year two of this pandemic, many individuals are also continuing to find difficulty maneuvering through their everyday lives and managing the stress brought on by COVID-19. September is a crucial month to stop, reflect, and ask yourself the question, “How am I doing?”
 
It’s ok to say “I’m not doing well”. If you’re not feeling like yourself, be sure to reach out to someone you know and don’t be afraid to get something off your chest.
 
If you said, “I’m doing great!”, take a moment to reach out to a friend that may not be doing the best and show them that they have your support. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a month when we need to make sure that no one feels that they are alone.
 
Local resources can be found in the list below:
  • Keystone Health Crisis Intervention, 24/7
    717-264-2555 or 866-918-2555
  • Mental Health Assoc. of Franklin/Fulton Co.
    717-264-2916
  • The Mental Health Support Line can be reached toll-free, 24/7 at
    1-855-284-2494 from anywhere in PA
  • National Crisis Text Line: HOME to 741741
  • SAMHSA'S National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP(4357)
  • WellSpan Health WARM Line: 1-844-WARMLINE
The Suicide Prevention Coalition (SPC) of Franklin County focuses on eliminating suicides within Franklin County, by increasing awareness of suicide as preventable and increasing the availability of mental health resources. The SPC and their partners have organized a variety of trainings and events throughout the month of September which are free to the community. Purple ribbons and lights will also be on display throughout town centers in Franklin County to raise awareness of suicide prevention and national recovery month. Take some time to learn how you can help prevent a death by suicide.
 
Throughout the Month of September:
 
First week of September
Distribution of 300 Suicide Prevention packets
Mental Health Association of Franklin/Fulton Counties
Location: Waynesboro Borough downtown residences
 
Thursday, September 2nd 
Trauma-Informed Care 102: Basic Skills of Trauma Informed Care (free)
Gain a better understanding about trauma and its impact on our lives. This training is for community members and professionals. If you want to understand your trauma and/or trauma in the lives of those you live, work, play or worship with, please join us!
This event is hosted by Shippensburg Community Resource Coalition, Early Intervention Specialists, Inc. and Cumberland/Perry MH/IDD. It is sponsored by Partnership for Better Health.
Location: Virtual
Time: 9am – 11am
Register: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdkHk0GkJw4rupyRhBUhEzUHVxE6qXxiUDlxIsuY1RirYXUJw/viewform
 
Thursday, September 2nd
QPR Suicide Prevention Training/Mental Health First Aid (free)
WellSpan Philhaven is pleased to offer QPR suicide prevention training to members of our community. QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer. Three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. With the Mental Health Awareness addition to the QPR, participants will briefly learn how to recognize some of the more common mental health signs and symptoms and how to response to someone who needs their support. For example, participants will recognize when someone might be having a panic attack and learn necessary skills to help in that event.
Location: Virtual
Time: 8:00am-12pm
Register: https://www.wellspan.org/events/details/QPR-Suicide-Prevention-TrainingMental-Health-Awareness---VIRTUAL/3173
 
Wednesday, September 8th
Franklin County Commissioners Suicide Prevention Month Proclamation
Location:
218 North Second Street, Chambersburg
Time: 2pm-3pm
Open to the public
 
Wednesday, September 22nd
Youth Suicide Awareness Conference (free)
“How COVID-19 Has Affected our Youth”
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-24-year-olds. Learn how to help those at risk.
CEUs available.
Location: Virtual
Time: 9 a.m. - Noon
Info/Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/youth-suicide-awareness-conference-2021-tickets-164507393041
 
Tuesday, September 21st & Wednesday September 22nd 
WellSpan Health – Book Discussion facilitated by Claudia Peet (free)
Children Under Fire by John Woodrow Cox
A limited number of books are available to check out through WellSpan Health Chambersburg Hospital and Franklin County Library System
Location: Virtual
Time: 9/21 12pm-1pm & 9/22 6pm-7:30pm
 
Thursday, September 23rd
The “S” Word Virtual Community Screening & Discussion (free)
View the documentary film to learn how to talk about suicide and participate in facilitated group discussions and learn about community resources and supports.
Mental Health Association of Franklin/Fulton Counties, Healthy Franklin County and Franklin County Library System
Location: Virtual
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Register: https://www.wellspan.org/events/details/The-S-Word-Community-Screening--Panel-Discussion---VIRTUAL/3306
 
Sunday, September 26 (free)
THRIVE Franklin & Fulton County LGBTQ+ Support Group
Mental Health Association of Franklin and Fulton Counties
Meets the 4th Sunday of every month
Location: 487 Grant Street, Chambersburg
Time: 6pm-8pm
Contact: 717-264-4301
 
Wednesday, September 29
QPR Suicide Prevention Training (free)
Mental Health Association of Franklin and Fulton Counties
Question, Persuade, Refer - three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide.
Location: Virtual
Time: 2pm to 3:30pm
Register: Email bpeake@mhaff.org  Phone: 717-264-4301 ext. 222
 
Helpful information and tips:
  • Purple lights and ribbons will be on display starting September 1st in town centers throughout Franklin County including Chambersburg, Waynesboro and Greencastle to increase awareness of Suicide Prevention Month and national Recovery Month.
  • Relax and unwind with an easy, virtual yoga session with Kim Crider, Community Health Coordinator with WellSpan Health. Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSR1iJf8nZs&feature=youtu.be
  • Try out a virtual mindfulness walk. Listen to this audio while taking a walk outdoors for a calming experience that allows you to focus on the present and enjoy the nature around you. Join Kim Crider, Community Health Coordinator with WellSpan Health as she guides you through the walk. Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wxROps2iE4&t=28s
    • Download the My Strength App for additional resources at www.mystrength.com. Join for FREE during the month of September using the code, “START”.
  • Additional resources and events can be found at https://www.wellspanphilhaven.org/Events
 
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the resources listed above. Visit Healthy Franklin County’s website for additional information on the Behavioral Health Task Force, as well as the Healthy Franklin County Mental Health Mapper to find local mental health providers, youth/adolescent specialties, and drug and alcohol services.