Tag Archives: Suicide Prevention Committee

Suicide Prevention Awareness Candlelight Vigil

Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems Inc. and the Defeating Stigma Coalition have joined forces with the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization to support World Suicide Prevention Day on Tuesday, September 10. We’ve organized five simultaneous events in each of the five counties—Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot–of the Mid-Shore region.

Suicide is an ever-growing problem in our society that is claiming the lives of more and more people at the rate of one death by suicide every 40 seconds. For each successful suicide there are roughly 10 attempted suicides, many of which lead to hospitalizations, and are an indicator of the burden of poor mental health in the population. Furthermore, there are twice as many deaths from suicide each year than from homicides.

Our organization wants those people who are despairing and thinking about suicide to know that help is available. All you, a friend or family member needs to do is to ask. Research shows that suicide is preventable and therefore the five events will be held at the following local parks: Long Wharf Park in Cambridge, Thompson Park in Easton, the Courthouse Greens in Denton, Court House Square Park in Centreville, and Fountain Park in Chestertown. Each program begins at 7:45 p.m. two speakers will discuss prevention and personal experience. At about 8 p.m., attendees will light candles to memorialize those who’ve completed suicide, support survivors and recognize prevention. Candles will be supplied. This same candle lighting ceremony will occur at 8 p.m. in every time zone around the world.

Those who can’t make an event are encouraged to light a candle at 8 p.m. near a window to show support for Suicide Prevention, to remember a lost loved one, and for the survivors of suicide. For more information, contact Kathy Stevens at 410-770-4801 or email kstevens@msmhs.org. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Eastern Shore Mobile Crisis at 1-800-407-8018.

Please Join Honorary Chairs, Maryland’s First Lady, The Honorable Katie O’Malley and New York Times Best-Selling Author, Frank Warren For The Grand Opening Of The Youthline Eastern Shore (YES-IMALIVE) Teen Peer Counseling Hotline and the National Hopeline Network Call Center!

Please join us on Friday, October 26, 5:30-8:30 for the Grand Opening of the Youthline Eastern Shore (YES-IMALIVE) Teen Peer Counseling Hotline and the National Hopeline Network Call Center. Join the Honorary Chairs for the Event, Maryland’s First Lady, The Honorable Katie O’Malley and New York Times Best-Selling Author, Frank Warren along the Board of Directors and key stakeholders from the County and the State as we tour the new National call center!

In addition to Maryland’s First Lady, the community is rallying around the project! Eastern Shore Tents and Events, G&G Distributors, It’s the Pits!, Capriotti’s, Kentmorr Restaurant, Peace of Cake, Converge Coffee, Bella Luna Cupcakery, and the Flower Shop are all generously donating!

Reese Butler, Founder and President of the Kristin Brooks Hope Center and the National Hopeline Network, said this of the Hotline, “This is a community-wide effort to eliminate suicide, and we already have a team in place. Members of the team include, Queen Anne’s County Public Schools, Sheriff’s Office, QAC Local Management Board, Chamber of Commerce, Fire Departments, EMS, and the faith community. Everyone is needed and everyone is welcome to join the effort to make QAC the safest place in the United States.”

Butler also sits on the QAC Suicide Prevention Committee, which meets once month and all committee members are part of the launch and support the Youthline Eastern Shore. This issue is too big for any one person or group to do alone. For this effort to be effective it must have everyone on the same team. “Our goal is to reduce the rate of suicide in our county by more than 50%. Already we are the first county in Maryland to train all of its school bus drivers on how to prevent bullying and recognize signs of risk for suicide. 100% of all QACPS Principals have been trained in the QPR (Question Persuade and Refer) suicide prevention gatekeeper program,” said Butler.

The brand new brick and mortar call center is located right across from PRS Guitars in the Stevensville Business Park at 411 Log Canoe Circle. This call center will back up IMALIVE.org, the world’s first Virtual Crisis Center, as well as provide teens from Kent Island High School and Queen Anne County High School an opportunity to become Certified Online Crisis and Suicide Intervention Specialists. Upon receiving their certification (after 60 hours of training and months of practice chats, phone calls and emails) they will work a 4-hour shift each week to earn credits towards their community service.

You can RSVP for the event at yesimalive.org. Please join us in celebrating the Eastern Shore’s greatest resource…its people.

In photo, above: Maryland’s First Lady, The Honorable Katie O’Malley

In photo, at left: New York Times Best-Selling Author Frank Warren