• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Monday, May 1, 2023

Mental Health Assocation and Forsyth Behavioral Health Promote Suicide Prevention Awareness

Partners Health Management, Mental Health Association (MHA) in Forsyth County and Forsyth County Behavioral Health Services and have joined together to promote suicide awareness and prevention during Mental Health Awareness Month in May.

The organizations will present a Community Discussion About Suicide from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at the Central Library Auditorium, 660 W. 5th St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Mental health professionals will be on-site for the event.

“The goal of this event is to foster an open discussion about suicide and future training opportunities based on community interest,” said Andy Hagler, executive director of MHA in Forsyth County, which provides mental health education and connects people to available resources and services. “We believe getting people talking openly about suicide will help raise awareness and save lives.”

Nationally, suicide is the 12th leading cause of death. In 2020, there were an estimated 1.2 million suicide attempts in the United States and 45,979 people died by suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (APSP).

North Carolina reported 1,441 deaths by suicide in 2020 with suicide being the second leading cause of death for North Carolinians ages 25 to 34 and the third leading cause of death for youths and young adults ages 10 to 24, according to CDC data. In 2019, over four times as many North Carolinians died by suicide than in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents.

“The national statistics regarding suicide in the United States are staggering,” said Denise Price, Behavioral Health Services Director for Forsyth County. “During the period of October 2021 through September 2022, Forsyth County had the third highest rate of Emergency Department visits resulting from self-inflicted injury amongst North Carolina counties. We invite you to join us for this very important conversation. Together we can bring awareness, reduce stigma, and have a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of our community.”

The suicide awareness event on May 16 will feature the showing of two short videos about the effects of suicide from the family and community perspectives. Partners produced these videos in conjunction with the United Way of Iredell County and Iredell/Statesville Schools for a campaign to inform, educate and provide resources to middle and high school students following an increase in suicides in that community. Students, parents, staff and community members participated in the videos, sharing how suicide has impacted their lives.

“Suicide has touched all of us in one way or another. Showing these videos provides the opportunity to have conversations and continues bringing awareness to this epidemic,” said Beth Brooks, an event organizer and Member Engagement Supervisor with Partners Health Management. “The insights and information shared in the videos can help other survivors of suicide as well as communities that are working on prevention and raising awareness.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call Partners’ Behavioral Health Crisis Line 24/7/365 at 833-353-2093 or visit www.partnersbhm.org/crisis-help/.

Other Crisis Resources:

  • Call or text 988 or chat via 988lifeline.org/chat/ for crisis support for yourself or a loved one. No matter where you live in the U.S., you can use 988 to get 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors for help with mental health-related distress including thoughts of suicide, a mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress.
  • Contact Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) at 336-703-2273 or by contacting the communications center at 336-727-2222. MIH is a team of advanced paramedics employed by Forsyth County Emergency Management Services (EMS) that respond to behavioral health crises and work to divert hospital admissions where clinically appropriate. MIH is available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
  • Visit the Behavioral Health Urgent Care (BHUC) operated by Daymark Recovery Services at 650 N. Highland Ave., Winston-Salem, N.C. The BHUC is open 24/7. No appointment necessary.
  • Call Mobile Crisis Services, which is provided by Daymark Recovery Services, at 1-866-275-9552. A clinician will respond to the scene where there is a person in crisis within two hours.

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