The Niagara County Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services announced the distribution of a community survey regarding suicide prevention in Niagara County. It said, “The survey will examine the community’s awareness of resources, how to help yourself or someone you know who is experiencing thoughts of suicide, and what type of supports you would like to see available in our community.”
Laura Kelemen, director of the county’s mental health department, said, “Thoughts of suicide can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. And, although the topic can be difficult to talk about, having open and honest conversations about suicide can help raise awareness and may save a life.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the U.S., and suicide rates in the U.S. have increased about 33% from 1999 to 2019. Additionally, 1 in 3 high school students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness and 1 in 6 had made a suicide plan over the last year.
“We need to make a change and are asking for your help,” Kelemen said. “It takes a community effort to let people know that help is available, link them to supports and reach zero suicides. We would like to thank you in advance for your participation. The responses generated will assist us in guiding our county wide suicide prevention work.”
The survey will be available for participants from Monday, Nov. 15, until Friday, Dec. 10. The link to the survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NCSPCommunitySurvey.
The county said, “If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis and in need of support, guidance, referral or intervention, please contact Niagara County Crisis Services 24/7 phone line at 716-285-3515. ‘There is Help – There is Hope.’ ”