HelpLine Receives Delaware County Foundation Grant to Support Suicide Prevention


Staff Reports



HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties, Inc. (HelpLine) has received a grant from the Delaware County Foundation to support suicide prevention efforts. This award of $9,675 when added to a previous $2,400 grant from the Foundation’s Women Giving Together Fund brings the total to more than $12,000 over the last year to fund suicide prevention efforts in Delaware County.

The grant will expand suicide prevention outreach to high-risk populations and includes the implementation of a spring 2018 session of the Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group (SOSL). Monthly meetings for previous participants in the SOSL group will also be added to maintain connectedness while building a community of survivor support in Delaware County.

HelpLine Executive Director Sue Hanson said suicide prevention is a public health issue and providing education while promoting access to services fosters a responsive culture of support and helps to reduce the stigma associated with suicide.

“Most suicides are preventable,” said Hanson. “Building individual and community resiliency through proactive pre-and post-vention support, while providing open forums for dialogue all aid in breaking the atmosphere of secrecy and shame often associated with suicide — a critical key to saving lives.”

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, with an average of 123 suicides each day. In 2016, Delaware County lost 28 community members to suicide – a 130% increase from the previous year.

“It’s estimated for each suicide there are 25 attempts,” said Michelle Price, HelpLine Suicide Prevention Program Manager. ”This means approximately 700 Delaware County residents attempted suicide last year. Many of these attempts are reported, but a large majority are not.”

Price said that survivors of suicide loss – someone who has lost a loved one to suicide – are at a significantly higher risk of suicide. For each suicide, it is estimated a minimum of six people are intimately affected. This means there are a minimum of 168 new survivors of suicide loss in Delaware County from 2016 alone.

“Suicide loss is hard,” said Price. “Access to a SOSL group is extremely important in that it provides a safe and supportive place where survivors can meet other survivors and, learn and share practical coping strategies.”

The grant also supports initiatives of the Delaware County Suicide Prevention Coalition (DCSPC), including this year’s Annual Suicide Prevention Walk on Saturday, Sept. 8. In its eighth year, the walk was created to increase community engagement in suicide prevention and to support all of those touched by suicide – including loss survivors, those who have attempted suicide and survived, those who are currently depressed and/or suicidal, and the friends and family of those who struggle.

“We’re fortunate to have the support of the Delaware County Foundation to strengthen our county-wide response,” said Hanson. “Through our support groups, community events and in-school suicide prevention education and screenings, it will help us make a major impact.”

Marlene Casini, President and CEO of the Delaware County Foundation said, “The work of HelpLine is one of the few avenues to address suicide prevention in our county. HelpLine’s work in this area truly affirms the Foundation’s mission to support and enrich the lives of those who live and work in Delaware County. “

“We’re grateful to be a part of fueling this important, live-saving work at HelpLine,” said Casini. “We understand that suicide affects everyone and we want to ensure that hope and help is readily available in our community.”

For more information or to get involved in suicide prevention efforts, contact Michelle Price at mprice@helplinedelmor.org or 740-363-1835. If you or someone you know needs help, contact our 24/7 support and information line at 1-800-684-2324 or text helpline to 898211.

About HelpLine

HelpLine is a private, non-profit organization that provides 24-hour, crisis, support, & information about community services via hotline and texting; sexual assault advocacy; suicide and violence prevention education; and a volunteer center. Committed to connecting people to knowledge, support, and resources, HelpLine facilitates stability and self-sufficiency through linkage to services, crisis management, and mental health related and violence prevention education.

HelpLine is a contract provider of the Delaware-Morrow Mental Health and Recovery Services Board and partially funded by SourcePoint. A United Way Partner, HelpLine is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology, National Alliance of Information & Referral Systems and certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. For more information, please visit: www.HelpLinedelmor.org.

About Delaware County Foundation

The Delaware County Foundation strengthens our communities by connecting people through charitable giving. The Foundation helps donors enhance the quality of life throughout the county. Gifts and bequests to the Foundation help meet the county’s growing needs by creating a permanent endowment for the future.

Since 1995, the Foundation has distributed more than $13 million in charitable dollars throughout Delaware County.

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