No Matter What ... You Matter Suicide Prevention Campaign

Third annual campaign set for Oct. 4 to 12

EASTON — Suicide does not discriminate, affecting people of all genders, ages and ethnicities. Many factors may contribute to someone making a suicide attempt, depression being one of the lead reasons. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34 and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.

This fall, to help create awareness about this community mental health issue, For All Seasons will kick off its third annual No Matter What ... You Matter Suicide Prevention Campaign the week of Oct. 4 through 12.

The campaign will kick off from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at the Bartlett Pear Inn at 28 S. Harrison St.

The free event will include champagne, hors d’oeuvres and live music. It is part of the First Friday stroll through the local galleries and shops in Easton, and will provide the opportunity to learn more about what For All Seasons is doing to help those in crisis. Local artist Josepha Price will create chalk art on Harrison Street as part of the international “Let’s chalk about mental health movement (#letschalkaboutmentalhealth),” which aims to raise awareness for suicide prevention and reduce stigma by encouraging the public to write messages of hope in chalk to let others know they are not alone.

In 2018, the campaign raised $20,000 from 21 participating Easton businesses that helped to support same-day mental health crisis appointments offered by the agency.

This year, 24 Easton businesses are participating in the weeklong event, donating a portion of sales on specific dates during the campaign week, along with 26 business sponsors. Participating businesses include Shabby Chic Salon, Frugalicious, La De Da, Justamere Trading Post, Hot off the Coals, Dragonfly Boutique, Crackerjacks, Ebbtide Wellness, Levity, BBQ Joint, Krave Courtyard, Shearer the Jeweler, Hills Café and Juice Bar, Mama Italia, Lizzy Dee, Curlique, Prim Salon, Dairy Queen, Doc’s Downtown Grille, Marc │ Randall, Vintage Books and Fine Art, Trade Whims, Piazza Italian Market, and Foremost Massage and Spa.

For All Seasons hopes that by discussing the signs and symptoms associated with suicide that it can raise awareness about the issue in the community. Because family and friends often are the first to recognize the warning signs of suicide, they can be critical to helping an individual find treatment with a provider who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, for every suicide, 25 attempts are made. For All Seasons wants people to know that if they think a friend or family member is considering suicide, they should reach out and start a conversation. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life. The following are three steps to help people begin the conversation:

1. Ask directly: “Are you having suicidal thoughts?” Let them know you care.

2. Stay and listen: Let them share their thoughts and feelings.

3. Get help: Connect them with a friend, family member or a therapist at For All Seasons.

“For All Seasons hopes through this campaign to engage the community in ways that it can help with suicide prevention,” said Beth Anne Langrell, director of For All Seasons. “This year, our campaign coincides with a new community offering by our staff — our mental health first aid training. This community training prepares individuals to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis.”

Starting Oct. 1, For All Seasons staff will offer an eight-hour training course that provides the tools for members of the community to identify when someone might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem and connect them with the appropriate care. The training is available to churches, businesses, coaches and civic organizations.

Just as CPR helps even those without clinical training assist an individual having a heart attack, mental health first aid prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis. A five-step action plan guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.

Throughout the year, For All Seasons brings awareness to the community about such issues as suicide, sexual assault, trauma, human trafficking and mental health needs.

To find out how to get involved with the No Matter What ... You Matter Suicide Prevention Campaign, contact Denae Spiering at 410-822-1018 or dspiering@forallseasonsinc.org.

To request mental health first aid training through the For All Seasons Center for Learning, contact Katie Pittsinger at 410-822-1018 or email kpittsinger@forallseasonsinc.org.

For further information about participating businesses in the Shop and Dine event, visit forallseasonsinc.org/youmatter.

For All Seasons serves Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne and Talbot counties. For All Seasons Rape Crisis Center offers certified sexual assault victim advocates; counseling and support groups; free and confidential services in English and Spanish; support in the hospital, police department and court; and referrals to social and legal services.

For All Seasons English Hotline is 1-800-310-RAPE (7273) and Spanish Hotline is 410-829-6143.

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