(Voorhees, NJ) – In 2017, an estimated 47,173 Americans died by suicide. Despite increased awareness of the importance of mental health and the risk of suicide, suicide rates have slowly but steadily climbed over the past decade. Today, suicide is the second leading cause of death in children and adults from ages 10 to 34.
On May 13, in observance of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Camden County Addiction Awareness Task Force will host an informational presentation on suicide prevention and risk reduction. Professionals and members of the community are being invited to learn from experts about the latest evidence and research regarding actionable steps we can take to prevent suicides in our community.
“It is vitally important that everyone is aware of the signs exhibited by someone at-risk for suicide, and how they can properly direct them to help. This goes beyond just parents, our entire community needs to be engaged with this crisis,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. “This is especially true for individuals who work with at-risk populations such as those identifying as LQBTQI, homeless veterans, first responders, individuals with mental health challenges, and those with substance abuse problems.”
The presentation will be led by the Clinical Director of the Center for Family Guidance, Joel Friedman, and the Associate Vice President of Trauma and Violence Prevention Programs for the Center for Family Services, Barbara Moranski. The two will lead an interactive planning session to help participants develop their own personal action plan, in addition to identifying suicide risk factors and organizations which are available to provide support.
“More than anything, our goal is to give people hope and show that this is preventable when we identify the warning signs in time,” Cappelli said. “Suicide is intertwined with so many monumental public policy issues such as the availability of firearms and the proliferation of prescription opioids. No one can be expected to navigate this alone, and that’s why it’s important to get educated and arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible.”
Participants must register prior to the event by visiting camdencounty.com/keys. Sign-in begins at 5:30 p.m., and the presentation will begin at approximately 5:45 p.m. Light dinner will be provided. For questions, please contact Patty DiRenzo at (856)-374-6137 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.