Raising awareness for suicide prevention in Riley County

(Riley County, KS – June 1, 2023) Riley County Health Department was awarded $35,000 from the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) to assist with suicide awareness and prevention work.  The funds will be used as stipends to hire at least 20 ambassadors to deliver a presentation to community groups in Riley County. The presentation is being developed in collaboration with the Flint Hills Volunteer Center Suicide Prevention, Awareness, Compassion, Training (PACT) program. It will feature video testimonials from local residents and provide tools to help people recognize when someone may be experiencing suicidal thoughts.Additional information is needed to help create the presentation and training materials. Anyone who lives, works, or receives healthcare services in Riley County is asked to take a survey about suicide prevention awareness at https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/7338914/Riley-County-Suicide-Assessment-Survey.“Armed with knowledge of where we’re starting, we will work to connect those in need to support services and empower allies to intervene when someone needs help. The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete. We sincerely appreciate your time and support,” said Health Department Director Julie Gibbs.When the presentation is complete, each of the 20 trained ambassadors will be asked to present at least once to a community group, with the goal of five presentations each. Groups will take a pre and posttest survey to evaluate the presentation and the presenter.  This data will be collected by the presenter and sent back to the health department to report to KDADS.Find information about applying to become an ambassador or request a presentation for a community group on the Flint Hills Volunteer Center website at https://flinthillsvolunteercenter.com/pactambassador/.The suicide awareness task force is also busy planning events to raise awareness during National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month in September 2023 and throughout the year. Grant funding will provide marketing support for these events as well as local ads to raise awareness about suicide prevention and the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.Anyone experiencing mental health-related distress can dial 9-8-8 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at any time of day or night. Help is available in multiple languages.Find more information about the Suicide Awareness PACT at https://flinthillsvolunteercenter.com/pact/The Riley County Health Department promotes and protects the health and safety of our community through evidence-based practices, prevention, and education. Administrative offices are located at 2030 Tecumseh Road in Manhattan, KS. More information is available online at www.rileycountyks.gov/health. Follow the RCHD on Facebook /Rileycountyhealthdepartment, Twitter @RileyCoHealth, and Instagram /rileycountyhd.

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