Six Months of Dedicated Suicide Prevention Support at Momentum
September is Suicide Prevention month, a time to reflect on the impact of suicide. Worldwide, someone dies by suicide every 40 seconds. For some of us, suicide may touch our personal lives. But for those of us at Momentum for Health who support clients in crises, suicide risk and its management are ever-present in our professional lives. Never has this been truer than today.
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unparalleled economic, social, and behavioral health challenges for our communities and clients. For some, these challenges are experienced through suffering with suicidal thoughts and attempts. The important work of supporting our clients through suicide crisis and recovery can be incredibly challenging, particularly when we experience the difficult loss of a client to suicide.
Momentum is dedicated to providing the training and support needed for staff to provide suicide prevention services during the pandemic and beyond. Starting in September, in honor of Suicide Prevention Month, we are kicking off a six-month series of suicide prevention initiatives, with the aim of providing training, resources, and support for our staff in their suicide prevention work. Most importantly, the content of these initiatives was generated by the Momentum community.
Focus areas for this series grew explicitly and directly from the requests and input of Momentum staff. Through a need’s assessment survey, over 100 staff identified the following challenges as priority areas for support and assistance: Culture & Underserved Populations, Assessment & Documentation, Safety Planning & Treatment, Momentum Community Support Following A Suicide Loss, Crises & 5150s: Practical Policies & Procedures.
Momentum has provided the connections and resources needed for this six-month suicide prevention series. The effort will be led by Momentum program managers and staff, with the support of the County of Santa Clara suicide prevention program and external suicide experts.
Momentum’s first training will be led by nationally recognized author of the Cultural Model of Suicide, Dr. Joyce Chu.
Stay tuned for more updates about this initiative.