"Lebanon County Suicide Task Force honors September as Suicide Prevention Month, hosting a variety of events to draw attention to the 10th leading cause of death in our country. In the United States, there is an average of 117 suicides every day. Each year, 42,773 Americans take their own life. These staggering statistics only underscore the importance of World Suicide Prevention month, honored annually in September.
The Lebanon County Suicide Task Force invites the community to attend these special free events to raise awareness and educate our community about suicide prevention. "We will take special moments to remember the lives of loved ones lost to suicide, and be encouraged through gatherings, speakers, ceremonies, movies and trainings," according to a news release from the task force.
Previously, the Lebanon County Coroner noticed a disturbing trend of suicide on the increase in our local area and requested the service of the Lebanon County Suicide Prevention Task Force. Thanks to the efforts of the Lebanon County Suicide Prevention Task Force the number of completed suicides has decreased. The Task Force efforts include annual media buys, both television and print, as well as online resources to reach at-risk individuals for suicide (most commonly male, average age 50) who are offered hope and alternatives. Additionally, the friends, family, neighbors and community members who have known someone considering or at-risk for suicide are given practical ways to help and intervene. Members of the Lebanon community are invited to use the free online resources at communityhealthcouncil.com/suicide. Site visitors will learn the many ways to volunteer, show support, and find comfort in loss.
On Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 6-8 p.m. Kevin Hines will speak at the Lebanon High School Auditorium, 1000 S. Eighth St., Lebanon. Hines is a mental health advocate, award-winning global speaker, bestselling author and documentary filmmaker who reaches audiences with his story of an unlikely survival and his strong will to live. Two years after he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (19 years of age), he attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. He is one of only thirty-four to survive the fall, and the only one to regain full physical mobility. He is the only Golden Gate Bridge jump survivor who is actively spreading the message of living mentally healthy. The fall would break his body, but not his spirit. Kevin will be signing books. You may bring your own or purchase one for $30.
A Remembrance Garden Dedication Ceremony will take place at Stoever’s Dam Park, 946 Miller St., Lebanon, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, at 3 p.m. A representative from Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities/Early Intervention of Lebanon, will speak. Lebanon Mayor Sherry Capello will read a proclamation on the area’s unique commitment to suicide prevention. Many sponsors will be honored who have donated landscaping materials and volunteers be acknowledged who have given hours of service to create this beautiful place for residents to visit. The park’s new signage will be unveiled for the first time.
On Sept. 10, at 8 p.m., community members will be invited to light a candle near a window to raise awareness and support prevention of suicide in the Lebanon community.
On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the movie "The Bridge" will be shown at Cedar Crest High School at 6 p.m. This is a documentary of a handful of individuals who died by suicide at the Golden Gate Bridge, including interviews with family, friends and witnesses. Contains adult language.
On Friday, Sept. 16, there will be a Mental Health First Aid training at Lebanon County MH/ID/EI from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Register by calling 717-274-3415 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Thursday, Sept. 29 there will be a Remembrance Ceremony in the Remembrance Garden to honor those we have lost to suicide. To have your loved one memorialized in the program and garden, please call 717-274-3415. This is at the Nature Barn at Stoever’s Dam from 6:00 – 7:30pm"