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Watch the full press conference HERE.

Watch the first Suicide Awareness Month PSA on Children/Adolescents Mental Health HERE.

September 3, 2019 – Upholding Westchester County’s Commitment to suicide prevention, awareness and the importance of overall mental health, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, the Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH) and several community partners kicked-off the month of September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The month-long messaging campaign was created to help educate Westchester County residents on the appropriate ways to discuss mental health crisis in identified communities, and the resources available to them.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “It isn’t always easy to speak up if you think a family member or friend may be dealing with a mental health crisis. Throughout the month of September, in partnership with our Department of Community Mental Health, we will be rolling out public service announcements, task forces and educational materials to help our residents start that discussion. Helping those around us is everyone’s responsibility, and we want everyone to know about the support and services that are available to them.”

The Suicide Prevention and Awareness Plan includes:

  • Westchester County being selected as one of only four counties in the state to initiate a Suicide Fatality Review Committee

  • Introduction of Westchester County Suicide Prevention Awareness Task Force

  • Series of public service announcements aimed at educating Westchester residents on the importance of mental health.

  • Training calendar of various Suicide Prevention & Education efforts throughout the month of September

  • New DCMH Brochure

  • New Mental Health Awareness and Education Tip Sheet

Each public service announcement will delve into a specific population, and explore the appropriate ways to discuss suicide prevention, and overall mental health in that community. The public service announcements will include the following themes:

  • Children/Adolescents Mental Health   

  • Importance of supporting Employee Mental Health in the Business Community

  • Veterans and Mental Health

  • Senior Citizens and Mental Health

  • Law Enforcement and Mental Health

Utilizing the unique hashtag #BeTheLink, the educational campaign addresses how to recognize the potential warning signs of a mental health condition, how to best help someone who may be struggling with mental health issues and how to “link” those in need with Westchester County services and supports.

Commissioner of DCMH Michael Orth said: “It’s everyone’s responsibility to support each other’s mental health.  We can all help prevent tragedies in our own communities by learning to recognize and take seriously the signs of depression and emotional pain.  It is important that we reach out to family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues and open the door for conversation.” Lt. Wayne Hardy, 1st Vice President Westchester Rockland Guardian Association said: “We as ‘Guardians’ encourage all to call us, we will come to your meetings, we speak with youth, seniors, even police academy recruits. We aim to make everyone’s lives a little easier and lower the chances of suicide.”

Hassan Bilal, Member of “Mind, Body & Spirit Community Coalition” Westchester County said: “We aim to do as much as we can, in everything we can, to make sure this situation does not happen to someone else. The only way to do that is to work to get the word out, to let people know that there are agencies, individuals and community groups that are there to help them.”

 

Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH)

For more information and a complete list of resources and services, please visit us at:

https://mentalhealth.westchestergov.com/

Or call us at 914-995-5220

 

Please visit our interactive online directory and map of services:

http://dcmhservices.westchestergov.com/DCMHServices/login.jsp