Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The work of the Lake County Suicide Prevention Task Force

We had a Lake County Suicide Prevention Task Force meeting this morning. It really seems like we are getting down to work. We have divided into 4 committees: Resource Collection, Education, Community Information, and “First Responders” Project.

The Resource Collection Committee will continue our efforts to collect and post online the available resources in the community and begin work on a “gaps analysis” with consideration of how best to address those “gaps”.

The Education Committee will work towards community education, school education (for school personnel and students), professional education (medical, psych, clergy, etc.) and the like. Certainly, an initial part of this will be to find out about present education efforts and then work with them, facilitate them or augment them.

The Community Information Committee (whose work will somewhat overlap the Education Committee) will target awareness and stigma. That will include media and other venues, and other efforts.

The “First Responders” Project will begin our efforts to develop (borrowing from existing programs elsewhere) this program in Lake County. We envision a program in which we can get trained and “experienced” individuals to go to and begin helping and “connecting” family and friends of individuals who die by suicide with the resources they will need.

The work begins/continues.

We also handed out a list of information (no names) about the individuals who have died by suicide since January 2004 in Lake County. At first glance the listings pertaining to 140 individuals looks “sterile” and impersonal, but then you fall into it as you read it. 140 individuals who “leapt from their own infernos”. It “pulls at the heart strings”. We will accomplish our work.

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