Black Belt Candidate Support Suicide Prevention

After completing the Endurance Day portion of their Black Belt Test, the candidates traveled to downtown Annapolis to support efforts to in suicide prevention.  The Annapolis Out of the Darkness Walk took place on Saturday September 12 and even in the rain – hundreds were there to support survivors and education on this subject.

Out of Darkness Walk 2015

Suicide Awareness Activities in Annapolis Area

out of darknessStarting Saturday September 7 and for the next week across the country thousands of individuals will be taking part in Out of the Darkness walks and other activities to bring attention to the mental health issues of suicide.  Suicide has been a very difficult subject to talk about, but those times are changing.  In our country in 2010 (latest reports available) suicide has moved to the 10th leading cause of death of Americans.  While the numbers decreased from 1990 – 2000, since that time they have been on a very sharp rise.  With the latest figures we know that every 13.7 minutes someone in our country completes suicide.

The events that shock us the most is when they are deaths of young people and adolescents in the age range of 15 to 24.  But the data shows the highest rate of suicide is males in the age group of 45 -64.  Since getting data is very difficult, I find the attempts of suicide is even more troubling.

In 2010 the reports show that for every completed suicide (38,000 in 2010) there are 12 events where individuals performed some sort of self harm that required a visit to the hospital.  Even more shocking is that while males were 4 times more likely to die by suicide, females attempted suicide 3 times more often than males.

Out of the darknessThe education work, willingness to talk about the subject and bringing awareness to the community is something that all of us can do.  We must educate our young people and those that are in contact with them on a daily basis.  We must take the stigma away from asking what seem to be difficult questions – that when asked may save a life.

Our Balanced Life Skills Team has done well in raising money for the cause, and next week you will have an opportunity to Dine Out to Save A Life.  Three restaurants locally are participating, and our hope is that next year even more will participate.  Killarney House in Davidsonville, Galway Bay in downtown Annapolis, and Brian Boru in Severna Park are all offering a special menu for $25, of which $10 will be contributed to the Youth Suicide Awareness group here in Anne Arundel County.  The money collected will be used in education and in grants to high schools to create their own programs of awareness for their students.

At this point though I would like to invite you to join me at City Dock prior to 11:30 AM just to walk.  No other request.  Become aware of the issue.  Ask questions.  This fall consider learning more at a QPR training at Balanced Life Skills.

You never know when your knowledge may Save A Life.

September 7 -13 is Suicide Awareness Week

September 7 -13 is Suicide Awareness Week.  Join the Out of the Darkness Walk

Those who most need help in a suicidal crisis are the least likely to ask for it.

  • Thus, we must find our at-risk citizens and go to them with help without requiring that they ask for it first.

The person most likely to prevent you from dying by suicide is someone you already know.

  • Thus, those around us must know what to do if we become suicidal

Please join the Balanced Life Skills Team in the Out of the Darkness Walk as we raise awareness and money for the education of Anne Arundel County citizens.

Suicide Prevention Training – Annapolis MD

Suicide is a major, preventable mental health problem.  In 2009, 14.4 percent of all deaths of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 occurred with completed suicides.  Here is what is important to understand.  While it may seem common, it is not a healthy or typical response to stress.

While many of us could recognize some of the risk factors such as depression, substance abuse, prior attempts there are many others that may occur in combination or change over time.  Many people may have these risk factors and not be suicidal.  So how are we to know when to speak up and how to do so?

There are signs that we can look for and more important there is help available.  Balanced Life Skills is dedicated to the health of our children in the community and is offering a FREE seminar that will get rid of the myths that are commonly believed about suicide.  The training is offered to everyone in the community, because just as with CPR, the more of us who are trained in knowing the signs and what to do when we see them – the more lives can be saved, not just of our youth but all in our community.

Please join us Saturday November 10 @ 10:30 AM

Training by Marcie Gibbons, Spaulding High School, Psychologist

Laugh Live & Listen blog post

The following link and post about Suicide Prevention Day was given to me by one of our students.  I found it to be powerful and insightful.  I was moved by the simple somewhat seemingly inconsequential events that can pile up on a young person that might make them feel like it would be difficult to keeping going forward.  Most important though I am pleased that this young person and our student both are thinking about themselves and others and are willing to share their thoughts.  Here is the first couple of lines in the post and the link to see the rest of the story:

“In case you don’t know, today is Suicide Awareness day. OVER A MILLION PEOPLE ATTEMPT SUICIDE EVERY YEAR. A GOOD PORTION SUCCEED. Suicide is one topic that I feel very strong about, and here’s why: Last year, when I was in 7th grade, I was having a really rough time. I was getting picked on at school, from people who thought it was funny,…”

The link to Laugh Live Listen blog post is here:  Laugh. Live. Listen.

Most important though is giving ourselves the knowledge of suicide prevention.  October 13 we will host a training at Balanced Life Skills.  Please register for this FREE training.  You may be able to save a life.

World Suicide Prevention Day


Today, September 10, 2012 is World Suicide Prevention Day.  While this is still a difficult conversation to be had for many individuals, it is true that each one of us can take part in both primary and secondary prevention.  With over 33,000 individuals completing suicide each year in the United States alone, and the affects touching the lives of dozens for each of those completions, our help in prevention is required.

The first step and primary prevention of suicide requires that we promote physical and mental health in our community in general and continue to educate and talk about mental health issues.  Our goal is to reduce the stigmatization of mental illness and suicide, while encouraging seeking help for mental health issues.  We can do this with our conversations both public and private and education campaigns.

The second step or secondary prevention is the identification of mental health issues, suicidal ideation in individuals who are in our community.   Both professionals and individuals in the community who come in contact with those who are under stress can be trained to recognize when there may be signs that the individual is in need of help and then able to refer them to appropriate facilities.  Such individuals include you and I, if we will take just 60 – 90 minutes to be trained as “gatekeepers“.

Finally the third level of prevention is aimed at preventing relapses of suicidal behavior and the care, support and treatment of those impacted by suicide.

Take a moment today and think about how you may be willing to be part of an effort to save the life of one person.  Join us in our efforts to educate our community in being gatekeepers, by recognizing the risk and facilitating getting professional help.