At a time when many people are excited about the holidays, there are some who are struggling with loss of a loved one. This can be especially difficult if that loved one took his or her life. The Kent County Health Department wants you to know there is help.
The Healthy Kent Suicide Prevention Coalition has teamed up with network180 for a new “Survivor Outreach Program.” Trained volunteers can offer support to family members and friends who are struggling with loss and want to talk with someone who has “walked in their shoes”. One call to the network180 Survivor Outreach hotline (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) will put you in touch with the Suicide Outreach Program coordinator, who will contact the volunteer to meet with the family in person or over the phone in the next 3-5 days. network180 and the Healthy Kent Suicide Prevention Coalition are distributing information about this service to Kent County First Responders and Funeral Home Directors. If you or someone you know need to talk to someone about dealing with a suicide, call the SOP line at 616.336.3909.
Seventy-four people completed suicide in Kent County in 2009. That was the highest recorded in the past several years. This year through November, 56 people have died by suicide. Dozens of professionals in Kent County are committed to helping people who are struggling with depression. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This line is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24-hours a day and your call is free.