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Wolf administration hosts suicide prevention listening session

by on December 12, 2019 12:03 PM

STATE COLLEGE — The Wolf Administration’s Suicide Prevention Task Force recently joined the State College community to discuss experiences with suicide, strategies for suicide prevention and how to reduce stigma as part of the task force’s statewide listening session, according to a press release.

The Suicide Prevention Task Force is made up of representatives from several state agencies, the General Assembly and Prevent Suicide PA.

“We are here to open a conversation with the local community and ensure all voices are heard. These listening sessions allow Pennsylvanians to speak directly to the task force, and their voices will help shape and strengthen a plan for Pennsylvania to do more to prevent suicide, reduce stigma around mental health and suicide, and address healing and recovery for loved ones.”

Historically, DHS has worked with stakeholders to develop separate suicide prevention plans related to youth, adults, and older adults. These plans have set the stage for prevention efforts in Pennsylvania by incorporating feedback from suicide prevention efforts occurring around the commonwealth, sharing data needs to better inform prevention efforts, and developing strategies to reduce stigma associated with mental health, suicide, and suicide attempts.

The Suicide Prevention Task Force brings together leaders from the departments of Human Services, Health, Corrections, Aging, Education, Military and Veterans Affairs and Transportation as well as the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Pennsylvania State Police, elected officials and mental health and suicide prevention organizations. The public listening sessions are an opportunity to learn about how suicide impacts the lives of Pennsylvanians across the board and develop prevention efforts that reflect the diverse needs of individuals and families across the state.

Individuals and families affected by suicide shared their stories from their own or a loved one’s experience to discuss ideas for suicide prevention, education around mental health and suicide, and how to dispel the stigma around suicide and mental health. Representatives from Pennsylvania’s National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chapter, the Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania (MHAPA), and the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association (PMHCA) were on site during the listening session to facilitate meaningful discussion and gather feedback that will be consolidated in a report to the task force to inform the plan.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s Suicide Prevention Task Force and upcoming public meetings or listening sessions, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or is considering suicide, help is available. Reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at

(800) 273-TALK (8255) or contact Crisis Text Line by texting PA to 741-741.

 



This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.
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