National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month


September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and the climbing suicide rates are becoming alarming among all ages – especially in teens and young adults. It was the second-leading cause of death among people ages 10-34, and females have the highest suicide rate, according to the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health, 2019).

The MHA in Indian River County’s High School Violence and Suicide Prevention Program helps students cope with hard situations and provides them a safe place they know they can go to and talk about their problems. This year, the MHA reached out to nearly 1,000 students in Indian River County, and the program was well received. Almost 30 students reached out to the MHA after the completion of the High School Violence and Suicide Prevention Program.

Dr. Coppola, CEO of the MHA, is very concerned by the climb in suicide rates. “A loss of a child’s life, no matter the circumstance, is a loss of potential for the world. Our goal is to reach out and make sure children and adolescents receive the care they need before any thoughts of committing suicide through the High School Violence and Suicide Prevention Program. Really, the MHA wants to help people of all age struggling with these thoughts and feelings, giving them a safe space to talk about their life.”

If you are struggling, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8225). All calls are confidential, and the line is active 24/7 toll-free.

About the Mental Health Association 

“It’s Okay to Get Help!” — The Mental Health Association in Indian River County (MHA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing immediate access with no barriers to mental health care. As an affiliate of Mental Health America, the MHA works for prevention; for early identification and intervention for those at risk, and for recovery as a goal. The MHA has been active in Vero Beach since 1958 and spread to cover all of Indian River County in 1978.

About the Walk-In & Counseling Center

The Mental Health Association in Indian River County’s Walk-In & Counseling Center, located at 820 37th Place, in Vero Beach, offers individuals experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition free mental health screening, crisis intervention services, and information and/or referral about how to address their mental health issues. The Center is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm. The Walk-In & Counseling Center is designed to meet the emerging and imminent mental health needs of individuals and families in our community while enhancing the quality of their lives. The Walk-In & Counseling Center also offers classes and support groups to people of all ages. Psychotherapy, group therapy, case management, and psychiatry services are also available for clients seeking ongoing mental health services on an appointment basis at the Center. For more information on the Mental Health Association’s Walk-In & Counseling Center, call 772-569-9788.

About the Drop-In Centers

The Mental Health Association in Indian River County’s Drop-In Centers are peer-operated, recovery-oriented environments in the community that provide a safe, friendly, supportive, and confidential place where people with similar experiences are not judged. There are three locations: Vero Beach, Stuart, and Okeechobee. The Centers are designed to empower consumers to change the quality of their lives. The members are respected and offer peer support to one another. Recreational and social activities are offered to all members to promote a supportive, active, and empowering atmosphere as members participate in their recovery. Call Carol Martin, Our Director of Consumer Services, for more information at (772) 532-7166.

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