Suicide may not be a topic most want to broach but it’s important to talk about, especially with someone who shows symptoms.
Simsbury resident Thomas J. Steen said most people actually think it’s best to avoid the topic but that’s one of the most common misconceptions.
Steen knows all too much about the issue. He lost his son
Tyler some three and a half years ago when the young man was 21.
“It’s a journey we don’t want to share but it’s a journey
people like myself have to share,” he said. “You never get over it but you
learn to deal with it.”
Steen is also executive director for the Capital Area Substance Abuse Council and this week he addressed the Board of Selectmen about the town has been selected for the organization’s Suicide Prevention Initiative and has received a $2,500 mini grant. The funds are provided with support from CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Suicide Prevention Initiative.
That effort will involve a four-hour training for as many as 30 community members, such as emergency workers, youth leaders, business leaders, and social workers and others. The training will teach how to recognize warning signs, how to approach those at risk, how to respond in a crisis, restrict access to potential dangers and deal with a suicide when it does happen. They will also learn common misconceptions.
The training is provided free of charge and the funds can be
used to implement an action plan, which a local committee will devise based on
Steen also told selectmen there could be further funds
available to help specific groups.
Since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, mental health has
been a key priority, he said.
With suicide, there's a small window to reach a vulnerable
person at his or her worst moments. Nothing is 100 percent but prevention efforts save lives, Steen
“We know it is the most preventable death in our society,”
Steen said. “We’ll certainly make a difference.”
Learn more about this issue at http://www.preventsuicidect.org/