Many suicides are preventable, and modern tools, in the hands of professionals, community members, and at-risk individuals, can have a significant positive affect. These ideas represent the research and thinking behind the launch of the new Vermont Suicide Prevention Center (VtSPC) website at www.vtspc.org.
“On the local, state and national level, people have been saddened by the recent deaths of Cheryl Hanna and Robin Williams,” said JoEllen TaralloFalk, Director of the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center. “The factors that lead to suicide can be complex, and increasingly, we recognize the need for communities at large – educators, parents, health and social service providers, arts professionals, recreation leaders, first responders, healthcare professionals, and policy makers at all levels—to work together to ensure the health of all community members,” said TaralloFalk. “This site is for all of us.”
Signs of distress are not always obvious; one purpose of the site is to help people recognize them. “For the first time in Vermont, the latest and best information is available in one place for professionals, and everyday people who are in contact with individuals they suspect may be at risk,” said TaralloFalk.
The site is being launched during National Suicide Prevention Week and was developed in partnership with the Vermont Department of Mental Health, the Center for Health and Learning, and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition. The site aims to dispel misperceptions regarding suicide and create awareness about how to prevent it. Users can get quick access to resources and information concerning youth and adults, schools, professionals, families, survivors, the LGBQT community, and higher education. This includes hotlines and screening yools for assessing risk and warning signs for suicidal persons, as well as national and local numbers to call.
“We all – professionals, neighbors, friends and family members alike – play a part in devoting more attention to the mental, emotional, physical, social, environmental, and community factors that influence mental health for all of us. This site has been designed to help us do that,” said TaralloFalk.