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Light the Night for Hope in September

Be on the look out for purple lights and ribbons on display throughout Franklin County in town centers, storefronts and porches during the month of September as stakeholders work together to increase awareness of suicide prevention and recovery. The Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Franklin County Overdose Task Force are each coordinating activities during these national observances in September which include using the color purple to symbolize their collective efforts. The common thread which links suicide prevention and recovery efforts together is a shared understanding of the importance of mental health. Read more to learn how you can support suicide prevention and recovery efforts.

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have long-lasting effects on individuals, families, and communities. Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. It was responsible for nearly 48,000 deaths in 2021.The good news is that suicide is preventable. Preventing suicide requires strategies at all levels of society. This includes prevention and protective strategies for individuals, families, and communities. Everyone can help prevent suicide by learning the warning signs, promoting prevention and resilience, and a committing to social change.

Many factors can increase the risk for suicide or protect against it. Suicide is connected to other forms of injury and violence. For example, people who have experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, or sexual violence have a higher suicide risk. Being connected to family and community support and having easy access to health care can decrease suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Mental Health Disorders and Substance Use Disorders

Mental health and substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life and all age groups. These illnesses are common, recurrent, and often serious, but they are treatable and many people do recover. Mental disorders involve changes in thinking, mood, and/or behavior. These disorders can affect how we relate to others and make choices. Reaching a level that can be formally diagnosed often depends on a reduction in a person’s ability to function as a result of the disorder. Learn more here about mental health and substance use disorders and here about prevention.

Local Activities

  • Light the Night for Hope throughout September. Help raise awareness about suicide prevention and recovery during September by changing your lights to purple, the color of hope and awareness for suicide prevention and recovery. The Mental Health Association of Franklin/Fulton Counties is coordinating several activities including:

    • Change Your Lights to Purple: Throughout September, switch your lights to purple, the color of hope and awareness for suicide prevention. Capture a picture and tag the Mental Health Association of Franklin & Fulton Counties on social media or use #TalkBringsHope for a chance to WIN a $50 gift card! (Pickup required)

    • Glow Sticks for Connection: Spread hope with purple glow sticks! Share these with your loved ones to inspire conversations. Snap a glow-tastic pic with your friends and family, and tag @mentalhealthassociationfranklinfulton or use #TalkBringsHope to ENTER for another $50 gift card prize!

    • Get Involved: Calling all organizations and businesses! Want to participate? Fill out the form at https://forms.gle/MC7tNzm9Zu8zgixg7 to be part of this meaningful movement and receive free purple light bulbs and glow sticks.

  • Old Main Fountain Lighting on September 5th at 7pm. Join others at Shippensburg University to recognize National Recovery Month with a lighting ceremony, food, resources, music, games and more. See flyer here.

  • Franklin County Commissioners Proclamation on September 6th at 2pm. Join County Commissioners and local stakeholders on Wednesday, September 6th at 2pm at 272 N. Second Street, Chambersburg, PA to declare September National Recovery Month.

  • We Can Laugh in Recovery Comedy Show on September 8th, 2023. Certified Recovery Specialists of Franklin and Fulton County present a free comedy show on September 8th, 2023 at 8pm at the Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg at 159 S. Main Street, Chambersburg, PA. The show is 18+ and features Violet Gray, Mike Moran and Rose Vineshank. See flyer here.

  • Home Run Derby on September 9th, 2023. Home Run Derby to fight drug addiction in Franklin County is on Saturday, September 9th at Norlo Park. $15 if you pre-register and $20 on day of event. Registration starts at 8am and event starts at 9am. Baseball and softball Proceeds benefit Noah’s House. Visit wayz.com for details. See flyer here.

  • Franklin County Commissioners Proclamation on September 13th at 2pm. Join County Commissioners and local stakeholders on Wednesday, September 13th at 2pm at 272 N. Second Street, Chambersburg, PA as they proclaim September National Suicide Prevention Month.

  • Rock for Recovery September 16, 2023. Free community event including live music, kid’s activities, food, raffles presented by Pyramid Healthcare on Saturday, September 16th, 2pm to 5pm at 25 East Main Street in Waynesboro, PA. Lucky Punk and Smokin J’s BBQ featured. See flyer here.

  • Sober September Community Event at Cowan’s Gap September 30th from 3:30pm to 7pm. A free event to celebrate unity and resilience and to connect with others who have lived life’s challenges and emerged stronger. Inspirational speakers, food and fellowship. See flyer here.

  • Free suicide prevention training, Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) can be facilitated in person or online.

    • Mental Health Association of Franklin/Fulton Counties. Contact Alexandra Stanton, Suicide Prevention Specialist at 717-264-4301, ext. 227 or AShatzer@mhaff.org for more information.

    • WellSpan Health Philhaven. Contact Jayne Miller, Community Mental Health Educator Coordinator at 717-273-8871, ext. 2248 or jmiller80@wellspan.org for more information.

Need Help Now?

National Crisis Line

Contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline if you are experiencing mental health-related distress or are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. Call or text 988 to speak with a trained crisis counselor for free 24/7/365.

Local Supports

  • Mental Health Help Line 717-264-2916 available evenings 5pm to 10pm.

  • Keystone Health Crisis Intervention Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help with each individual crisis situation. No appointment is necessary at 866-918-2555.

  • Keystone Health Crisis Intervention Walk-in services are only available Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. At 112 N. Seventh Street, Chambersburg, PA (in an office next to the Chambersburg Hospital Emergency Department. (It is not necessary to check-in at the Emergency Department to visit the Crisis Intervention office during these hours).

  • Franklin/Fulton Drug and Alcohol Services are open Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm at 425 Franklin Farm Lane, Chambersburg or at 717-263-1256 or ffda@franklincountypa.gov. Information is also available by visiting the Franklin/Fulton Drug and Alcohol page at www.franklincountypa.gov. Individuals seeking immediate help for themselves or for someone they know should call PA Get Help Now at 800-662-4357.

  • Healthy Franklin County Move for Mental Health campaign highlights the importance of physical activity on mental health and local resources and supports. Visit healthyfranklincounty.org/moveformentalhealth




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