A collaborative effort between the Oakland County Health Division, Community Mental Health Authority, and others has resulted in the development of the Youth Suicide Prevention School Toolkit.
The county Health Division and Community Mental Health Authority, along with Common Ground, Easter Seals, and Training & Treatment Innovations, developed the plan, which focuses on coordinating suicide prevention efforts across the county.
The Health Division, coupled with the other county departments and organizations, will engage with a variety of public and private sector stakeholders to implement the plan.
The toolkit is described as a combination of best practices in suicide prevention from leading agencies, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Action Alliance for Suicide.
“Preventing suicide is a major public health issue and an imperative for me and my administration,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson in a press release. “This toolkit will empower parents, staff, and community members to address youth suicide prevention.”
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among people between 15- and 24-years-old, and more people die by suicide — which claims one life, on average, every 15 minutes — each year than homicide, according to county officials.
“Our group broadly seeks to change the way the community thinks about and addresses suicide,” said Jeff Brown, executive director of Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority. “Creating more awareness around suicide diminishes the stigma associated with obtaining mental health services and can reduce the number of people who suffer needlessly.”
Some of the warning signs of suicide include persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings; fatigue and decreased energy; difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions; insomnia or excessive sleeping; and overeating or appetite loss.
If you need help, call 1-800-231-1127 or go to Common Ground’s Online Crisis Chat LineExternal Link.
For more information, visit the county Health Division website at www.oakgov.com/health.