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Region 5 Suicide Advisory Board
December Newsletter

Content warning: this newsletter discusses suicide and suicide statistics.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide:
In CT, call 800-HOPE-135 or 211 (press 1 for crisis, 2 for adults), Call/Text – 988 
Region 5 Suicide Advisory Board
This advisory board includes local prevention council representatives, clinicians, people with lived experience, prevention professionals, school social workers and psychologists, healthcare, crisis intervention specialists and law enforcement.

R5SAB meetings are an opportunity to discuss:
  • emerging trends & high-risk populations
  • resources, training and funding 
  • training needs
  • and create connections with regional partners
Next meeting: Dec. 21, 2022 at 10:00AM on Zoom
Sign up for the R5 Suicide Advisory Board here
CT Suicide Advisory Board
Mission: The CTSAB is a network of diverse advocates, educators and leaders concerned with addressing the problem of suicide with a focus on prevention, intervention, and health and wellness promotion.

Vision: The CTSAB seeks to eliminate suicide by instilling hope across the lifespan.

If you are interested in joining the CTSAB and listserv, sign up here.
Seize the Awkward Campaign
Seize the Awkward aims to encourage and empower young adults to reach out to a friend who may be struggling with their mental health. By leveraging moments of vulnerability in their friendships, they can create a safe space for their friends to open up about mental health.

The campaign addresses the key insight that while nobody likes an awkward silence, taking advantage of the awkward moment can really help those struggling with their mental health. Seize the Awkward encourages teens and young adults to embrace awkward moments and use them as an opportunity to reach out to a friend and start a conversation about how they’re feeling.

In this campaign, ‘awkward’ refers to the initial discomfort or vulnerability that can arise when raising such personal topics – we acknowledge this reality, but we should always show that, despite any awkwardness, reaching out is the right thing to do. It’s important that we normalize mental health in the same way it would be normal to talk about physical health.
The campaign website is full of helpful information about recognizing warning signs, tips on starting the conversation as well as helpful things to do and say during and after the conversation. Also available are social media graphics, videos and more to help share the message! Start spreading the word here.
"We Can Talk About It"
These PSAs support young people in having conversations about mental health. The PSAs are designed to break down barriers to starting the conversation with friends and those in their life. 
Connecticut State Suicide Prevention Plan 2025
The Connecticut State Suicide Prevention Plan 2025 (PLAN 2025) is designed to frame, organize, prioritize and direct established and emerging suicide prevention, intervention and postvention response efforts throughout the state through 2025.

Goal 3: Promote suicide prevention as a core component of healthcare services.

  1. Promote the adoption of “Zero Suicide” as an aspirational goal by healthcare and community support systems that provide services and support to defined patient populations.  
  2. Develop and implement protocols for delivering services for individuals with suicide risk in the most collaborative, responsive and least restrictive settings. 
  3. Promote timely access to assessment, intervention and effective care for individuals with a heightened risk for suicide. 
  4. Promote continuity of care and the safety and well-being of all patients treated for suicide risk in emergency departments or hospital inpatient units. 
  5. Encourage healthcare delivery systems to incorporate suicide prevention and appropriate responses to suicide attempts as indicators of continuous quality improvement efforts.
  6. Establish linkages between providers of mental health and substance abuse services and community-based programs, including peer support programs. 
  7. Coordinate services among suicide prevention and intervention programs, healthcare systems and accredited local crisis centers.
  8. Develop collaborations between emergency departments and other healthcare providers to provide alternatives to emergency department care and hospitalization when appropriate, and to promote rapid follow-up after discharge. 
Public Perception of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Survey Results
A new public perception national survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults helps us better understand the public’s beliefs and attitudes about mental health and suicide.

  • 94% believe suicide is preventable
  • 96% would take action to help prevent suicide if someone close to them were thinking of taking their own life
  • 8 out of 10 are interested in learning more about how they might be able to play a role in helping someone who may be suicidal. 
  • 76% believe mental health and physical health are equally important;
  • However, over half (51%) feel physical health is treated as more important than mental health in our current health care system
  • More than half of respondents (57%) had heard of 988
  • 81% report being likely to reach out to 988 if they or someone they know needed help
This 2022 survey is published by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC).

View the full survey results here.
Text CT to 741-741
Resource Highlight
The grassroots work AFSP does focuses on eliminating the loss of life from suicide by: delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs, raising funds for suicide research and programs and reaching out to those individuals who have lost someone to suicide.
Upcoming Learning & Outreach Opportunities
Mental Health Spotlight
Recently retired Deputy Chief Shaun McColgan has been a member of the Danbury Police Department for over thirty years and a Police Officer for more than thirty-five years, starting his career in New York City in 1984. A certified CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) officer since 2009, he was instrumental in the start of Danbury Police's team as well as the work of CABLE (CT Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement) and the CIT International Organization.
Deputy Chief McColgan was appointed by Mayor Boughton in May of 2005 as the city’s representative to CAC 21. He has served in all of the executive board positions during his tenure and continues to serve as a long-standing member. Thank you for all of your dedication, support and hard work around mental health!