SARATOGA COUNTY, NY – The Saratoga County Suicide Prevention Coalition is partnering with Newtown Road Church to provide suicide prevention training to the community.
More than half of Americans have been affected by suicide in some way, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10 to 24-year-olds in New York state and nationwide, according to foundation statistics, which show it is also the fourth leading cause of death among those 35 to 54 years old in New York State.
In Saratoga County, there were 23 suicides in 2021; 15 men and eight women ages 23 to 78, according to the Saratoga County Coroner’s Office.
Across the United States, adolescent ER visits for suicide attempts have increased dramatically during the pandemic, with a 50% increase in cases among women and nearly 4% among men, as found the Baylor College of Medicine.
“Unfortunately, suicide rates are increasing in New York State,” said Michael S. Prezioso, Ph.D., commissioner of the Saratoga County Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in a press release. . “While many people can overcome crisis through connection with others and intervention strategies, everyone can play a role in suicide prevention by learning the warning signs and reaching out to someone they care about. These impactful and essential trainings will provide participants with the knowledge and tools to save a life. »
Two unique trainings will be offered in March at The Church at Newtown Road, located at 142 Lower Newtown Rd. in Half Moon. They are open to the public and registration is compulsory for everyone.
First, a Community Awareness Skills Training (CAST) on Suicidal Hopelessness will feature a community conversation to address how people think and talk about suicide at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 24. CAST addresses suicide as a major community health issue and outlines steps one can take to reduce the risk of suicide. It is designed for the whole community, including parents, teachers, first responders, medical professionals, support groups, veterans organizations, domestic violence organizations, centers for old people, etc. All are invited to attend this meaningful discussion on suicide and interactions with those at risk. Registration is available online at www.newtownroad.org/CAST.
A Soul Shop for Youth Workers training — the first of its kind to be held in upstate New York — will focus on youth-specific, faith-based suicide prevention techniques. Scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, March 25, Soul Shop for Youth Workers is a one-day faith-based training designed specifically to equip people to deal with young people who are affected by suicidal desperation. Particular attention is given to the problems of impulsivity, contagion and confidentiality specific to young people. The training establishes a biblical basis for dealing with suicidal desperation in young people and includes how to recognize warning signs, how to engage in life-saving conversations and how to keep young people safe.
Additionally, Soul Shop for Youth Workers offers practical ways to incorporate this ministry into lesson plans, group activities, and one-on-one conversations. This training is beneficial for anyone who works with young people in their community and is also important for anyone who is the parent or caregiver of a child between the ages of 10 and 18. Soul Shop training is $10 per person and lunch will be provided. Registration is available online at www.newtownroad.org/soul.
“Suicide prevention is not just about stopping someone from acting on their thoughts. It’s about recognizing the warning signs, understanding how to talk about suicide and depression, and knowing the resources available for suicide prevention,” said Amy Hughes, Outreach Coordinator at The Church at Newtown Road in the press release. “These trainings provide a holistic approach to learning how to help someone who may be experiencing suicidal despair and are beneficial to everyone in our community.”
The trainings are made possible through partnerships with the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Saratoga County, The Church at Newtown Road, The New York State Office of Mental Health, the Suicide Prevention Center of New York State, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and National Alliance. on New York State Mental Health. Soul Shop training is also supported by funds donated by Metobolic Meltdown, which hosted a suicide prevention and awareness fundraiser to benefit the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Saratoga County.
The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Saratoga County supports prevention through education, training and awareness events. It is co-hosted by Saratoga County Public Health Services and the Saratoga County Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Coalition members are a wide range of local mental health and health care stakeholders.
Newtown Road Church is a non-denominational church which has served the Capital Region for over 40 years.
More information about upcoming trainings can be found online at http://www.newtownroad.org/suicide or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about Saratoga County Mental Health and Addiction Services is available at www.saratogacountyny.gov or by calling (518) 584-9030.