N.H. announces suicide prevention week and new website

Health

State leaders on Friday discussed new resources to combat New Hampshire suicides ahead of National Suicide Prevention Week.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu proclaimed Sept. 10-16 as NH Suicide Prevention Week. Photo courtesy of the NH Governor’s Office

New Hampshire officials on Friday announced new resources aimed at preventing suicide, which is the state’s second leading cause of death of people aged 15 to 34 and its ninth leading cause of death overall.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on Friday signed a proclamation recognizing next week as New Hampshire’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Week, running alongside the national version of the week, from Sept. 10 to Sept. 16. Public officials also announced the creation of a new website, PreventSuicideNH.org, which provides resources for students, military veterans, survivors of suicide loss, and more. 

“As parents, teachers, neighbors and coworkers, let’s all take responsibility to be part of a systemwide solution to ensure a brighter future for everyone,” Sununu said.

The governor was joined by officials from the New Hampshire Suicide Prevention Council and representatives from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, NAMI New Hampshire, and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to talk about statewide efforts aimed at suicide prevention. 

Officials also discussed the impact of NH Rapid Response/988 and the launch of a new public awareness campaign called Strong As Granite. A New Hampshire resident also shared her personal story of struggling with suicidal thoughts, and the help she received from the state’s resources.

“I have been in mental health treatment since I was an adolescent,” said Karen Privé of Franklin, N.H. “Medication, therapy, and support groups help a lot and I have had periods of stability but even with treatment, I continue to struggle with depression, complex PTSD, and suicidal thoughts. Last year was particularly tough and led to me contacting NH Rapid Response and there is no doubt in my mind that calling saved my life. Rapid Response and mobile crisis teams were phenomenal, and I am grateful to still be here to be a writer, an advocate, a wife, a stepmom, a grammy, and a friend.”

State leaders say the Strong As Granite campaign will help those in New Hampshire connect with the kind of support that Privé received. The campaign will feature the Rapid Response Access Point, the 988 Hotline and 211 the Doorways program via 211.

“When we’re talking about mental health and suicide prevention, we’re talking about people,” said Sununu. “New Hampshire has focused our efforts on implementing systems that meet the needs of the individual. While we’re recognizing Suicide Prevention Awareness Week, our efforts continue 365 days a year to put the community resources in place to reduce stigma and care for those in crisis.”

Those in need of mental health support or substance use crisis care in New Hampshire can call or text the NH Rapid Response Access Point at 1-833-710-6477 or visit NH988.com. Anyone needing assistance outside NH can call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.


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