State announces new suicide prevention campaign

The Connecticut Suicide Advisory Board today announced opportunities for communities and campuses to participate in the new “1 Word, 1 Voice, 1 Life ... Be the 1 to Start the Conversation” photo campaign.

The photo campaign is an enhancement of the Connecticut suicide prevention initiative, a project of the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

The photo campaign, timed for Mental Health Awareness Month in May, seeks to start the conversation within communities and campuses about suicide prevention and mental health promotion by engaging them to consider how they would start the conversation with someone they believe is at risk. The campaign also promotes the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255.

Participants can participate in the campaign by writing a message describing how they will support suicide prevention on a white board or piece of paper and taking a photo of themselves holding their message. Participants can then submit their photos at by July 1 to be included in the 2014 campaign. Entries may be used in a variety of campaign activities and highlighted during National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 7 to 13.

“Suicide impacts all ages and backgrounds, all racial and ethnic groups, and the emotional toll on those left behind endures long after the event” DMHAS Commissioner Patricia Rehmer said in a news release. “DMHAS, which co-chairs the CT Suicide Advisory Board with the Department of Children and Families, will continue to champion effective prevention strategies. When we work together we can save lives and reduce the effect suicide has on all Connecticut’s residents.”

The 1 Word, 1 Voice, 1 Life ... Be the 1 to Start the Conversation initiative encourages people to learn how to recognize risk factors and warning signs related to suicide that they may identify in themselves, their families or friends. The initiative also stresses the importance of knowing resources available and getting people at risk of suicide to the help they need.

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