Jefferson County mental health summit: ‘Suicide affects all of us’

Suicide Prevention Summit draws more than 55 community members

Posted 10/15/19

Teachers, bus drivers, healthcare workers, law enforcement, first responders. “We all have a role to play in suicide prevention, whether we know it or not,” said Sophie West, the injury and …

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Jefferson County mental health summit: ‘Suicide affects all of us’

Suicide Prevention Summit draws more than 55 community members

Posted

Teachers, bus drivers, healthcare workers, law enforcement, first responders.

“We all have a role to play in suicide prevention, whether we know it or not,” said Sophie West, the injury and violence prevention coordinator at Jefferson County Public Health, because “suicide affects all of us.”

On Oct. 8, about 55 people representing a variety of different sectors in the community participated in a day-long summit to have a community-wide discussion on suicide prevention.

The event was put on in partnership with Jefferson County Public Health and the Jefferson Center, a nonprofit, community-focused mental health care and substance use services provider.

“Today is all about reviewing local, available data, identifying community priorities and arranging opportunities for region-wide collaboration,” said Sam Taylor, the youth suicide prevention coordinator at Jefferson Center.

Summit attendees, and the community in general, is an energetic group concerning working toward suicide prevention, Taylor added.

The summit provided an opportunity to “bring them together to expand the great work being done and increase region-wide collaboration,” Taylor said.

Kelly Kast, an epidemiologist at Jefferson County Public Health, added that the summit was “a step toward getting that diverse perspective” from all sectors in the community.

“There has been an increase in suicide deaths,” Kast said, “and Jefferson County Public Health wants to be involved in facilitating a coordinated response to this public health concern.”

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