Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in collaboration with the State Suicide Prevention Council, the Youth Suicide Prevention Assembly, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)-NH Chapter held the 8th Annual Suicide Prevention Conference. This year’s conference theme is Reflect, Refresh, Renew. Keynote speaker, Dr. Jerry Reed, Director of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center at the Education Development Center, spoke about how prevention programs and strategies in New Hampshire fit with the newly released, 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
“Everyone has a part in helping to prevent suicides, which is the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults in this State up to the age of 24 and the fourth leading cause of death for adults ages 25–54,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of the Division of Public Health Services at DHHS. “It is gratifying that New Hampshire is being recognized for the good work we are doing around this very painful topic, but there is still more to be done.”
“Many of our own homegrown programs, such as CONNECT and the project with the New Hampshire Firearm Safety Coalition, are looked at as Best Practices in the National Strategy,” said Erik Riera, Administrator for the Bureau of Behavioral Health at DHHS. “The National Strategy also highlights the need to provide targeted prevention strategies for different segments of the population.”
As a follow-up, morning breakouts at the conference offered three scenarios, one case each for an adolescent, a postpartum woman, and a member of the military. Best practices for prevention and postvention were also discussed.
The Conference was for anyone interested in suicide prevention from survivors of suicide loss to professionals working in the field. Other topics addressed during the day included a session on ethics, suicide prevention in older adults, and strategies for community healing after a suicide has occurred.
Warning signs for suicide include:
- Talking about death or suicide
- Increasing alcohol or drug use
If you are worried about someone or are suicidal yourself, please call 1-800-273-TALK, a 24/7 crisis line. Help is available.
For more information on suicide prevention, visit the Suicide Prevention Resource Center at www.sprc.org or the National Alliance for Mentally Ill New Hampshire at www.naminh.org/education/suicide-prevention or the DHHS Bureau of Behavioral Health at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bbh/contact.htm.