Suicide Prevention Strategies and Resources

September is National Suicide Prevention Month and Healthy Franklin County will feature a blog post each Thursday that discusses various prevention strategies and resources available and how you can help. This is the second blog post in the series.

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. 

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. 

The Mental Health Association of Franklin/Fulton Counties (MHAFF) provides free suicide prevention training on two, different types of evidence-based intervention models.

ASIST- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training is a 2-day workshop designed to teach the skills to competently and confidently intervene with individuals at risk of suicide. The workshop prepares Gatekeepers to integrate principles of intervention into everyday practice.

The curriculum is divided into 4 learning modules: attitudes, knowledge, intervention & resources. Skills and principles are illustrated with case studies presented in videos and live dramatizations, role-play simulations, discussions and in the Suicide Intervention Handbook.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be better able to:

  • Reduce attitudinal barriers which hinder the ability to be direct and comfortable with suicidal situations
  • Dispel myths about suicide
  • Identify the indicators and assess suicidal risk
  • Intervene with individuals at risk of suicide
  • Engage in efforts to build collaborative resource networks for intervention

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.

In addition to providing suicide prevention training, the MHAFF also facilitates the Community Support Program, a coalition of individuals, family members, mental health professionals, and other community members who are working together to help adults with serious mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders such as substance abuse live successfully in the community. The CSP meets the fourth Monday of each month at 10:30am and is open and free to the public.

In addition, a depression and bi-polar support group meets every Tuesday from 6pm-8pm and a LGBTQ+ support group meets every other Saturday at the MHAFF. The MHAFF also provides a HelpLine 7 days a week at 717-264-2916 or 1-800-593-8351 which is staffed by trained certified peer specialists and call specialists.

Keystone Health provides mental health and drug and alcohol services throughout the Franklin and Fulton County areas

Summit Behavioral Health, offers a wide-variety of services and treatment options for anyone who is experiencing mental health and substance use challenges.

If you or someone you know is suicidal call the National Suicide Prevention Life Line at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or the Keystone Health Crisis Intervention Program at 1-866-918-2555.

For more suicide prevention resources, click here.