The Campbell County Prevention Council (CCPC) is a coalition of community-based individuals and organizations working to improve community safety and health, focusing on substance abuse and prevention for youth, adults and families.
Since August, they have partnered with local businesses for a campaign to raise awareness of resources for suicide prevention.
“I thought about it for a long time and a lot of our suicides have substances in their system, whether it’s alcohol or drugs, so I wanted something that would reach that type of population,” said Ashley McRae, prevention specialist certified with CPCC. “We started with the window stickers, and we were only going to put them in liquor stores or bars. We wanted something simple so that if someone looks at it it doesn’t feel weird like a giant poster and then the QR code just to snap [for] Resources.”
McRae added that nearly every Gillette company has the stickers, which list some of the warning signs of suicide in addition to the resources provided by the Suicide Prevention Hotline, the WYO Hotline and the Campbell County Behavioral Health Crisis Hotline. The stickers even attracted attention outside the county.
“We even sent some to Casper [after] their hospital requested some,” she said. “It’s a grant funded by the state of Wyoming. It must be evidence-based, so dissemination of resources and information is the building block of evidence.
McRae said she pitched the idea for the campaign to the Suicide Prevention Coalition in May. It also bounced around several local government agencies, including the Gillette Police Department, Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Family Services, Campbell County School District, and Campbell County Public Health. Campbell.
In addition to the stickers, she added that there was another element to their campaign.
“We have coasters circulating and they are part of the same initiative,” she explained. “We gave them out to a few bars, and I had recently ordered some more because now some local restaurants want them too. On the front it says “No one can fill your boots and we don’t want to try”, and there is a pair of work boots. On the other side is our QR code for resources.
The campaign is expected to continue until at least November, with further analysis to find out if the QR code is attracting attention. McRae said it appears to be a success.
“The first week we distributed the window sticker, we looked at how often our QR code was used and it’s already been scanned 200 times across the 10 businesses where we had it,” she said. declared. “And since that time, this number [has] continued to rise [in] the number of people who scan the QR code or who call or take advantage of other resources.
She added that at the start of September there were over 1,000 scans of the code, which marked about three weeks since the campaign launched. It comes as Campbell County has recorded 16 suicides so far this year, about double last year’s total.
Campbell County School District officials continue to also focus on mental health and suicide prevention, which they say has had an impact on reducing the number of youth suicides even as the county’s rate continues to climb. McRae added that she was part of the district’s crisis response team, though their initiatives are funded separately and include more school-specific programs and messaging.
“If there is a suicide of a young person, then I kind of help them spread information, which is for sure, but they have taken a lot of initiative themselves, and they just include me in some way. sort of to make sure what they say is accurate,” she added.
CCPC received its first grant in July, which will run until July 2024.
If you or someone you know is considering or having thoughts of suicide, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also dial 988 24/7 or text “WYO” to 741741. Local mental health and addictions services are also offered in communities across the state.