The Mental Health Work Group is addressing unmet needs and working to improve issues related to mental health services especially for children and adolescents. Meetings are scheduled the third Friday of the month at 8:30 am.
COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH:
Members of the work group are hosting Community Conversation about Mental Health throughout the county. These conversations provide an opportunity for people to learn about mental health issues, including breaking down misperceptions and promoting recovery, and healthy communities. Participants are able to discuss issues related to the mental health of young people and decide how to take action to improve mental health in their families, schools, and communities. These conversations can take place in schools, businesses, faith-based venues, libraries, senior centers, etc. We are available to schedule this program at your location.
The work group developed a training based on the Columbia-Suicide Assessment Tool. The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) supports suicide risk assessment through a series of simple, plain-language questions that anyone can ask. The answers help users identify whether someone is at risk for suicide, assess the severity and immediacy of that risk, and gauge the level of support that the person needs. This training is available for school personnel, law enforcement, faith-based, social service agencies, and community members.
The Blair County Department of Social Services spearheaded the development of the Columbia Protocol App which can be downloaded.
BLAIR COUNTY SUICIDE PREVENTION STRATEGIC PLAN:
Blair County had an opportunity to participate in a Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) suicide prevention initiative which conducted an assessment of the coordination, gaps, and areas of need. The overall mission is to improve communications, coordination of suicide prevention practices and resource-sharing across systems. The Suicide Prevention Strategic Planning Committee identified the following three goals:
1. Develop awareness/infrastructure for comprehensive suicide prevention efforts. 2. Increase screening efforts/improve screening protocols within organizations and build awareness of screening among community members. 3. Improve reentry procedures and protocols (post care). This Committee is coordinating efforts with the Blair County Suicide Prevention Task Force.