Health announces suicide prevention app, including self-reporting app
State hosting ‘There Is Hope’ event at department headquarters Sept. 6
Baltimore, MD (September 2, 2016) – The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene joins the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in recognizing National Suicide Prevention Week, September 4-10 and will host a “There Is Hope” Suicide Prevention Week event Sept. 6 in Baltimore.
Remarks will be given from the Executive Director of the Behavioral Health Administration, Dr. Barbara Bazron and the Chair of the Governor’s Commission on Suicide Prevention, Dr. Albert Zachik. “We understand the pain that suicide causes families and communities,” said Dr. Barbara Bazron. “We want Maryland residents to know we have multiple, free resources available to prevent other families and individuals from experiencing the pain of a suicide loss.”
On September 6, Health and Mental Hygiene will be promoting two new, free resources to combat suicide. One resource is an online, suicide-prevention training called Kognito, available to K-12 educators, college students and staff, veterans, LGBTQ individuals and primary care physicians. Through the use of avatars, trainees practice having a conversation with an individual experiencing psychological distress – with the goal of getting the person referred to services. The other is an app called “There Is Hope,” available now on the iTunes App Store, as well as the Google Play store for Android devices.
“The ‘There is Hope’ app provides fast and easy access to crisis intervention and suicide prevention support through a suicide risk self-assessment,” said Brandon J. Johnson, Health and Mental Hygiene’s director of Suicide and Violence Prevention. “The app is designed to link people experiencing suicidal thoughts to services, or to help guide someone who is concerned about suicidal thoughts expressed by a child, friend, family member or student.”
Suicide remains one of the leading causes of death in Maryland. While Maryland’s rate remains below the national suicide rate of 12.3 per 100,000 in 2014, suicides in Maryland have continued to increase from 561 in 2013 to 593 in 2014, or an increase of 9.6 percent. Marylanders grappling with suicidal thoughts can contact the 24/7 Maryland Crisis Hotline at 1-800-422-0009.
Risk factors might include hopelessness, impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies, isolation, alcohol and/or other substance use, financial loss and a family history of suicide. Warning signs of someone being at risk of suicide might include their talking about wanting to die, talking about having no reason to live, talking -more-about their being a burden to others,; their increased use of alcohol or drugs, their withdrawing and displaying extreme mood swings, and their sleeping little or too much.
The “There Is Hope” event will be held 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sept. 6, 2016, at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Herbert R. O'Conor State Office Building, 201 West Preston St., Baltimore, Maryland 21201.
Marylanders who need help finding substance-use-disorder treatment resources should visit http://goo.gl/nIfGm0 or call the Maryland Crisis Hotline, which provides 24/7 support, at 1-800-422-0009. For information on many of the policies currently implemented to fight addiction and overdose in Maryland, see http://goo.gl/KvEzQw. If you know of someone in need of treatment for a substance use disorder, treatment facilities can be located by location and program characteristics on our page at http://goo.gl/rbGF6S.
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is the State agency that protects Maryland’s public health. We work together to promote and improve the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement. Stay connected: www.twitter.com/MarylandDHMH and www.facebook.com/MarylandDHMH.