To make Queen Anne's County citizens knowledgeable and help them recognize indicators of suicidal thinking and link residents in need with prevention and intervention services.
The LMB formed the Anti-Suicide Committee in the Summer of 2012. Soon after the committee was formed it became part of the Anti-Bullying committee. It was later determined that for the most part the goals were mostly different for the two committees and it might be a good idea to split the committees into individual committees again. In the summer of 2013, Holly Ireland was asked to chair the Anti-Suicide committee by the Chair of the Local Management Board. The committee was later renamed: Partnership for Suicide Prevention. The committee hopes to work closely and otherwise align with Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, the Regional Core Service Agency and other organizations and efforts that are working toward the same goal of suicide prevention. The Local team of the State of Maryland Health Improvement Process (SHiP), an initiative encouraged by the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to focus on and improve health indicators in Maryland that have been determined to be especially poor, is chaired by Dr. Spenser, Health Officer for Kent and Caroline Counties. The local group recently established targets relating to suicide rates on the Mid-Shore.
The Suicide Prevention group is comprised of members of
the school system, the local management board, mid-shore behavioral health, the
health department, mobile crisis and parents/family members that have been
affected by suicide. Pat Kotzen is a parent member but she is also our local
representative with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This
group strives to reduce the stigma surrounding the topic of suicide, bring
education to the community regarding this issue and provide trainings on mental
health related topics around the county. They are also involved in the annual
walk in Kent Island to raise funds for projects such as trainings. The group
has been successful in providing these trainings, getting billboards on Rt. 50
in regards to suicide prevention, and working with Mobile Crisis who provides
the group with statistics relating to suicide/crisis calls in our county as
well as the surrounding counties.