Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition

North Country Out of the Darkness Walk Sponsorship Opportunities

Over the next few months, you will be seeing a lot of posts about our community Out of the Darkness Walks. Why are these so important? First, they provide support and a sense of community and belonging for those who have lost someone to suicide, those who struggle and those who support the cause. Second, the money raised is needed so that we can continue to provide free local suicide prevention education and awareness programs in the 15 counties the chapter serves. We would love to have you join us at one (or more) of our 4 walks this fall but if you can’t attend, please consider making a donation.

Additionally, this year marks the 10-year anniversary of the North Country Out of the Darkness Walk in Lake Placid.  To register for the Walk or to make a donation, visit www.afsp.org/northcountry.  For sponsorship opportunities, please review the attached sponsorship packet.

NC Walk sponsorship packet 2018

Free Suicide Awareness, Prevention, and Intervention Training Available

There are a variety of suicide awareness, prevention, and intervention programs available for Essex County communities.  Many can be brought to your community, organization or school at no charge to you.  If you aren’t sure which program is right for you, contact Shelby at (518) 962-2077 ext. 101 or shelby@mhainessex.org for a training consultation.

QPR – Question, Persuade and Refer – Three 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.  QPR can be learned in as little as one hour.

esuicideTALK – esuicideTALK is a 1-2 hour online awareness session that helps participants reduce stigma and become more aware of suicide prevention opportunties in their communities.

suicideTALK – suicideTALK is a 90-minute to half day session that helps participants, regardless of prior training or experience, be more aware of suicide prevention opportunities in their communities.  Dealing openly with the stigma around suicide, this exploration focuses upon the question “Should we talk about suicide?”  By looking at this question in a number of different ways, session members can discover some of the beliefs and ideas about suicide in their communities – and in themselves.

safeTALK – SafeTALK is a three-hour training that prepares anyone over the age of 15, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper.  Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives.  Through their words and actions, they invite help to stay alive.  safeTALK-trained helpers can recognize these invitations and take action by connecting them with life-saving intervention resources.

Mental Health First Aid – Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.  The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.  Curriculums are offered for Adults, Youth, Higher Education, Public Safety and CIT, Military Members, Veterans and their Families, and Older Adults.

Talk Saves Lives: An Introduction to Suicide Prevention.  A community-based presentation that covers the general scope of suicide, the research on prevention, and what people can do to fight suicide.  Attendees will learn the risk and warning signs of suicide, and how together, to help prevent it.

It’s Real:  College Students and Mental Health.  It’s Real is a documentary featuring the stories of six college students from across the country.  The film is designed to raise awareness about mental health issues commonly experienced by students, and is intended to be used as part of a school’s educational program to encourage help-seeking.

More than Sad:  This program teaches teens to recognize the signs of depression in themselves and others, challenges the stigma surrounding depression, and demystifies the treatment process.   It teaches parents how to recognize signs of depression and other mental health problems, initiate a conversation about mental health with their child, and get help.  It teaches educators to recognize signs of mental health distress in students and refer them for help.  The program complies with the requirements for teacher education suicide prevention training in many states.

Lifelines:  A Suicide Prevention Program.  Lifelines is a trilogy of programs based on over 20 years of suicide-in-youth research that indicates an informed community can help to prevent vulnerable teens from ending their lives.  This whole school program is made up of three unique components:  Prevention, Intervention and Postvention.  Training includes curriculum for school administrators, faculty, students and parents.

Training programs are sponsored by the Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools, Second Edition

After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools assists schools in implementing a coordinated response to the suicide death of a student. Originally developed in 2011, the second edition includes new information and tools that middle and high schools can use to help the school community cope and reduce suicide risk. The toolkit was developed in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and in consultation with national experts, including school-based administrators and staff, clinicians, researchers, and crisis response professionals. It is designed primarily for administrators and staff but can also be useful for parents and communities.

Link to the toolkit HERE.

 

 

Highlights of the second edition include:

  • Updated information on such topics as memorialization, social media, and contagion
  • Updated resource lists
  • A new tool to help with decision-making about memorials
  • New examples of how different communities have addressed specific issues in responding to a suicide death

If you or someone you know may be having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 800-273-TALK.  To reach someone to talk to in Essex County, call the 24-hour Essex County Mental Health Services Crisis Line at 888-854-3773 or the Mental Health Association 24-hour Hopeline at 800-440-8074.  Free and confidental emotional support is always available.  With help, comes hope.

 

A Remembrance and Poem by Barbara Rand

Lake Placid resident Barb Rand gave permission for an excerpt and poem from her upcoming book of poetry to be read at the North Country Out of the Darkness Walk in Lake Placid on Sunday, October 1, 2017.  The following is the reading shared with the audience:

A Remembrance and Poem from Prayers Along the Trail
By Barbara Rand
North Country Out of the Darkness Walk – Lake Placid
Sunday, October 1, 2017

My husband Dennis Ryan was bigger than life. Very much a people person, he always empathized with people who were going through hard times. He was kind, had lots of energy, and was known for being intense. With these qualities, he helped to move the world around him in positive ways and led the many projects he worked on to speedy completion. Whether driving miles to the funeral of a good friend’s parent or involving himself in community affairs, Dennis was always present for others.

Dennis was the love of my life. He was a gentle soul with a huge heart. Perhaps his heart was bigger than the average one, and that is why he gave so much of it to others. He loved his family and me more than himself. He loved his friends, as they were his family too. His passions were many and one of his primary ones was being involved with the lives of others. He was a good listener. When he would talk with you, you felt like you were very special, as if you were the only one in the room. He was a small town guy, but he drew in a city of friends as well.

His famous quote was, “Failure was not an option.” He was a Norwich University graduate and a very disciplined individual who had great respect for the Military life in general. His father was a Pearl Harbor survivor and my father was an 82nd Airborne soldier, surviving all the major campaigns during World War II. As a result, Dennis was deeply involved with the Veterans’ causes throughout his life and right up until his death.

He was a man who was always full of surprises and especially loved the simple things in life. A major passion was his love of music. As a result, he spent the majority of his professional life in the radio business. He started out as a disc jockey in college and finally his experiences grew into management and ownership.

He loved movies and holding hands, chocolate and red wine, and especially our Christmas Eve’s together. He was a big fan of the holidays in general and participated in the Fourth of July, even becoming a licensed pyrotechnic and he set off many fireworks over the years. He enjoyed flying and was a licensed pilot who flew whenever he could. He worked with NASCAR for a time, and Help Wanted.com, and finally as the financial business consultant.

A funny story about my guy to end on….One time at Thanksgiving, the restaurant was out of pumpkin pie, which is my favorite kind. So the next year, he actually brought a pumpkin pie to the very restaurant we had been going to for years, just so I could have my favorite pie for dessert, should they be momentarily out, and never be disappointed. He became the “pumpkin pie guy” at the restaurant forevermore!

He loved his 1976 Eldorado Cadillac so much and called it Big Red and took such wonderful care of it, just like he did with me. Our Sundays were mostly spent on taking road trips in Big Red with the top down as we just cruised the back country roads. This made my guy smile a lot.

He used to walk in our door bellowing, “Honey, I’m Home,” after Jackie Gleason of the Honeymooners, one of his favorite shows growing up. He loved bells and even hung a big bell at work and each time he’d come in the door, he would ring it and say the same thing: “Honey, I’m Home.” The girls at the office all loved him too.

My guy is still inside my heart, where he will forever remain.

After the shock of his death by suicide on May 21, 2012 — a suicide no one saw coming — I fell into deep sadness, then depression. Looking back, I don’t know how I would have survived without the love and support of my family and friends. Mine was a very slow recovery amidst the chaos of financial matters, moving from the cozy house we had shared and the city we had both loved, and dealing with endless details alone.

My long-time love of writing poetry helped me to find a new way of living my life. It provided me with a means for dealing with my extreme loss when I was alone and distraught. The poems started to come to me soon after the suicide and continue to do so often. I don’t think this will ever cease. Eventually, I began to think that perhaps I too could find a way to help others, with my poetry.

The aftermath of a suicide is a long dark tunnel to walk through for those left behind. Extreme effort is required to get through each day, especially at the beginning. I have learned that the stages of grief that psychology and self-help books outline are unpredictable and ever-present in my life. There is no exact science of the grieving and healing processes. It is easy to slip back into the sadness of loss, especially at anniversaries and holidays. Each person grieves in their own special way.

I have been so fortunate to have the ongoing support of my family and friends. My wish is that, in some small way, my poetry will touch others in situations similar to mine. I want others to realize that it is possible to make it from the darkness of despair back into the light of hope.

My book of poems is also a call to those dealing with suicidal thoughts in their daily lives. Death by suicide is not the answer. Reading the thoughts of someone left behind may make it possible you to grasp that there can be another way. Talk to someone. If that doesn’t work, talk to someone else. Because your life matters and there is help for you out here.

New Tracks

Since you left,
I have changed.
I have lived and let go of a lot of pain.
My tracks have been left on many mountain tops,
Firmly embedded in the deep white snow.
My heart is feeling more at peace.
I had to let you go with time,
But all the memories
Are still mine.
Since you left,
I have grown.
And my new home
Is surrounded by mountains
Whose colors and beauty have
Beckoned me back to life.
This is where
I now choose to roam,
And spend my days enjoying life
Knowing with every fiber of my being,
That each day is a true blessing
To be honored and revered,
With not a second to waste.

 

 

If you or someone you know may be having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 800-273-TALK (8255.)  To reach someone in Essex County, call the Essex County Mental Health Clinic Crisis line 24/7 at 888-854-3773 or the Mental Health Association’s 24-hour Hopeline at 800-440-8074.  Free and confidential emotional support is available, and with help, comes hope.

Suicide Prevention Coalition offers Training Programs

The Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition aims to implement community-based suicide awareness, prevention, intervention and recovery programs by providing Evidence-Based and Best Practice training models at low or no cost.

Here are some of the available programs:

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — Three 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. QPR can be learned in as little as one hour.

SafeTALK is a 3 training that prepares anyone over the age of 15 to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources. Most people with thoughts of suicide invite help to stay safe. Alert helpers know how to use these opportunities to support that desire for safety. Powerful video clips illustrate both non-alert and alert responses. Discussion and practice help stimulate learning. Learn steps that contribute to saving lives.

ASIST is a two-day intensive, interactive and practice-dominated course designed to help caregivers recognize and review risk, and intervene to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. Professionals, volunteers and informal helpers all need to know how to help persons with thoughts of suicide in ways that increase their suicide safety.

Creating Suicide Safety in Schools, or CSSS, is a six-hour workshop for school planning teams that looks at four basic categories of preparedness and additional foundational supports.  Often several schools in a district or an area come together to host the training and each sends a planning team.

Lifelines is an Evidence-Based, whole-school program made up of three unique components: Prevention, Intervention and Postvention. The Lifelines trilogy is based on over 20 years of suicide-in-youth research that indicates an informed community can help to prevent vulnerable teens from ending their lives.

Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common supports. This eight-hour course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The program also teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illnesses, like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.  There are specific programs for Youth, Adults, Public Safety, Rural, Higher Education and Faith Communities.

If you aren’t sure which training program is right for you or for a free training consultation, contact Shelby at 518-962-2077 ext. 229.  You can also download a list of the available training programs here.

Depressed Cake Shop coming to Out of the Darkness Walk in Lake Placid

“Where there is cake, there is hope.  And there is always cake.”

Depressed Cake Shop is coming to the North Country Out of the Darkness Walk, October 1, in Lake Placid!

Stay tuned for details!

#depressedcakeshop
#outofthedarkness
#stopsuicide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Quilters Donate Hand-Crafted Quilt to Out of the Darkness Walk

 

This beautiful quilt is being made by two local quilters from Port Kent, and donated to the North Country Out of the Darkness Walk.  With over 60 combined years of experience, their creative pattern design is meant to symbolize the dark colors transforming into lighter ones in the spirit of the “Out of the Darkness” theme.  We appreciate their generous donation and will contribute all funds raised from the raffle towards the Walk.

 

quilt in progress

“Adirondack Hope”

Full Size/Wall Hanging, 77 x 92

Disappearing Pattern Style

 

Drawing will be held Sunday, October 1, 2017 at the North Country Out of the Darkness Walk to Fight Suicide in Lake Placid.  Winner does not need to be present to win.

Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5 when purchase in person.

Tickets can be purchased from Out of the Darkness Walk Committee Members or at Out of the Darkness Fundraising events.

Tickets can also be purchased online at https://mhainessex.wufoo.com/forms/out-of-the-darkness-quilt-raffle/.   $10 or 6 ticket minimum purchase online.

 

Grand Prize Getaway for Two Raffle Drawing to benefit the North Country Out of the Darkness Walk to Fight Suicide

 

 

The North Country Out of the Darkness Walk Grand Prize Getaway for Two includes:

* A Two Night Stay including Breakfast at the Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa

* Round of Golf for Two at Whiteface Club and Resort

* Dinner for Two in Lake Placid

Raffle tickets are $10.00 each and may also be purchased from Out of the Darkness Planning Committee members, or at any Out of the Darkness fundraising event.

Tickets can also be purchased online here:

https://mhainessex.wufoo.com/forms/grand-prize-getaway-for-two-raffle-drawing/

 

A sample raffle ticket

Overall prize value exceeds $1,200 (no cash value)

For more information about the North Country Out of the Darkness Walk, visit www.afsp.org/northcountry. To sponsor or volunteer for the Walk, contact Shelby at 962-2077 ext. 229 or shelby@mhainessex.org.

 

North Country Out of the Darkness Walk Scheduled for October 1

Contact

Shelby Davis
(518) 932-1241
shelby@mhainessex.org

 

North Country Out of the Darkness Walk Scheduled for October 1

Community Walk to Fight Suicide in its 9th Year

Lake Placid, NY – August 10, 2017 – People from throughout the North Country are expected to participate in the 9th Annual North Country Out of the Darkness Community Walk to Fight Suicide at 1:00 pm, Sunday, October 1, 2017 at the Olympic Speed Skating Oval in Lake Placid.  This fundraising walk supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s local and national programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025.

“Suicide affects one in five American families. I am walking to bring awareness to this leading cause of death and let people in the community know that they are not alone. There is help out there for those who live with a mental health condition and support for those who have lost a loved one to suicide,” said Shelby Davis, 2017 North Country Walk Chairperson and member of the Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition.

The North Country Walk is part of a national Out of the Darkness walk movement, consisting of Community Walks, Campus Walks and two Overnight walks each year. In 2016, AFSP hosted more than 500 Out of the Darkness Walks spanning all 50 states, uniting more than 240,000 walkers and raising millions for suicide prevention research, education and advocacy.

Proceeds from the walks support programs such as Talk Saves Lives™; an educational presentation on how to recognize the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, and a new film entitled It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health that launched this spring. Through fundraising at the walks and other community and national events, AFSP has been able to fund 552 research grants totaling over $34 million dollars since 1987.

In the past year, the Capital Region Chapter:

  • Presented More Than Sad, a teen depression awareness program for middle and high schoolers to over 1,000 students, school personnel and parents;
  • Provided support to 199 survivors of suicide loss;
  • Provided safeTALK and Mental Health First Aid trainings to 364 people;
  • Hosted Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a one-day healing conference for those who have lost someone to suicide at 6 different conference sites;
  • Participated in 18 community health fairs providing information and resources to over 700 attendees;
  • Presented Talk Saves Lives, an introduction to suicide prevention to educate everyone in the community on risk factors, warning signs and how to help to 720 people; and, so much more.

“Fifty percent of the funds we raise stay here in the North Country to support programs like these, and the rest goes to research and special projects, like Project 2025.  As a survivor of suicide loss, it’s important to me our fundraising dollars stay local; our communities need this support.  If you know of any suicide prevention needs in your community, please know the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition is ready and willing to bring programs and services to you at no cost,” said Shelby Davis.

“These walks are about turning hope into action,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “Suicide is a serious problem, but it’s a problem we can solve. The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight the science is only going to get better, our culture will get smarter about mental health, and we’ll be able to save more people from dying from depression and other mental health conditions.”

Walkers can register at www.afsp.org/northcountry until 12:00 noon on Friday, September 29, 2017, however anyone who would like to participate can register in person at the walk from the time check-in begins until the walk starts. Registration begins at 11:30 am on October 1, Opening Ceremony is at 1:00 pm, and the Walk begins at 1:30 pm and includes a walk around the Oval and Mirror Lake, with the Closing Ceremony at approximately 3:00 pm.

The Walk also includes family friendly activities like face painting, a clown, music, Adirondack Bagpipers, basket raffles, silent auction, light refreshments, dove balloon release, team photos, memory board, Lifekeeper Memory Quilts, community resource tables and more.

The Walk is seeking sponsors, donations for basket raffles and silent auctions, and volunteers to assist the day of the event.  For information about corporate sponsorships or volunteering, call Shelby at 962-2077 ext. 229 or email Shelby@mhainessex.org.

Local AFSP sponsors for the North Country Out of the Darkness Community Walk include the Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition, Citizen Advocates, Adirondack Health, Northern Insuring Agency, Inc., The Wild Center, Whiteface Club & Resort, Mirror Lake Inn, and Ticonderoga Federal Credit Union.

 

 

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. AFSP celebrates 30 years of service to the suicide prevention movement. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

 

It is the mission of the Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition to work together as a community to increase suicide awareness and prevention.  The Coalition envisions Essex County having the necessary information and tools to raise awareness, promote education, and increase action to reduce suicides.  Learn more about the Coalition on our website, Facebook and Twitter

Essex County Residents now certified in Mental Health First Aid!

Congratulations to the newest group of Essex County residents certified in Mental Health First Aid! With the gorgeous backdrop of the lake as the view, they spent all day yesterday in Lake Placid learning about common mental health disorders, signs and symptoms, risk factors, how to recognize a mental health crisis, and what to do to assist a person experiencing a crisis until the situation can be deescalated and how to refer to appropriate treatment.  For more information about Mental Health First Aid, visit mentalhealthfirstaid.org.

Mental Health First Aid training, along with other mental health and suicide prevention training, is brought to Essex County by a grant through Senator Betty Little‘s office. Without these generous grant funds, the Coalition would not be able to provide community education, outreach, and many other services. Many thanks to Senator Little for making suicide prevention and mental health a priority.

Our next class is Tuesday, July 25 in Lewis. There are a couple spots available if you are interested in attending. Register at https://mhainessex.wufoo.com/forms/mhfa-lewis-72517/