Delaware County Council recognize the

importance of suicide prevention

The early death of a young person is a heart-breaking tragedy that shakes the community to its core. Unfortunately, suicide among adolescents is a major public health concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is a leading cause of death among those ages 10-24.

While risk factors and causes are always being studied, one thing is clear: prevention methods, including greater awareness by parents, educators and friends can help reduce teen suicide.

At the Sept. 13 weekly council meeting, Delaware County Council recognized that suicide is preventable, and that mental health is just as important as physical health by declaring September 10-16 as National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Week.

"We are pleased to have an extensive System of Care, through our Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health, that helps families and individuals access the services they need to address the mental health of children and youth," said County Councilman Dave White, Council's liaison to the Department of Human Services.

Earlier this week the System of Care partnered with the Delaware County Intermediate Unit to hold a Children's Mental Health Expo for children and families, kicking-off a week-long series of seminars and trainings available for caregivers. Throughout the week will be workshops taking place at the Intermediate Unit for clinicians to train in suicide risk assessment and help train caregivers how to intervene, prevent harm and reduce the risk of suicide. A list of the seminars and resources are available at On Nov. 9, the Task Force will hold the 14th Annual Regional Symposium on Suicide Prevention at the Springfield County Club.

During the meeting, Councilman White stressed that help is available and that the county's mobile crisis team can respond to an emotional crisis any time, any day.

"Life is not always easy for those who are challenged by mental health, substance abuse, trauma, violence or other issues that impact their emotional well-being," said County Councilman Dave White. "The mission of the Delaware County Crisis Connections Team is to listen, assess a person's needs, help the person and/or their family gain control, and provide connections to needed treatment resources.

Delaware County's Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health Crisis Connections Team provides 24/7 crisis services for individuals who struggle with emotional and mental health challenges. The County contracts with Elwyn, the Middletown-based human services organization, in collaboration with Magellan Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania, to offer the crisis services free of charge to all children and adults in Delaware County. The Delaware County Mobile Crisis is available 24 hours a day, every day of the week by calling 855-889-7827.

County Council recognize suicide is preventable and help is available

Delaware County Council and the Office of Behavioral Health was joined by partners in the Delaware County System of Care Network to recognize September 10-16 as National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Week. Attending the Sept. 13 council meeting are, from left, Ellen Chung, Delaware County Suicide Prevention & Awareness Task Force, Shannon Fitzpatrick Thomas, Coordinator of Children's Mental Health Services, Councilman Dave White, Jeanne Ewing, Children's Mental Health Specialist, Joseph Dougherty, Director, Department of Human Services, top row, from left, Councilman Michael Culp, Vice Chair Colleen Morrone, Chairman Mario J. Civera, Jr., and Councilman John McBlain.