Suicide Prevention Coalition
Funded by Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery, the Stark County Suicide Prevention Coalition is a partnership of representatives from more than 20 local community organizations working together to save lives. Active members currently include representatives from community advocacy, behavioral health organizations, survivors of suicide loss, social service organizations, human service agencies, government organizations, medical facilities and educational institutions. We welcome individuals or organizations that would like to join us. Coalition members have selected the following guidelines:
• Our Vision is aspiring to be a well informed, aligned and engaged coalition that works together in eliminating suicide.
• Our Mission is to provide guidance and expertise to promote hope, wellness and behavioral health as a means of preventing suicide in our community.
• Our goal is to provide education, guidance and resources to achieve a Stark County community with zero suicides.
The Coalition meets monthly at StarkMHAR to discuss ways to promote suicide prevention activities, to reduce stigma around suicide and mental illness, and to empower individuals to get involved in saving lives. We coordinate and/or participate in a variety of community activities to promote our goal of reducing suicides in Stark County. So far in 2019, seven coalition members have been trained as instructors in Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR), an evidence-based training where participants who receive the training will learn three simple steps to save a life from suicide. The coalition intends on training as many Stark County residents as possible in this basic gatekeeper training.
How we began
The Stark County Suicide Prevention Coalition first formed in January 2003, identifying our primary goals and target populations. Since then, our partnerships have grown and we have amended our strategic plan on an annual basis. Our Coalition has collaborated with representatives of the United States Air Force, the organization with best practices for suicide prevention, and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. We have sponsored community-wide conferences with former United States Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher and Clinician/Researcher Dr. Thomas Joiner as key presenters. All of these individuals have contributed to our continued development, but our goal has remained constant throughout: to reduce the number of suicides in Stark County.
Our invitation to you
Join the Coalition or consider having your business join us in working together to save lives. Invite a Coalition member to your business, church, school, or community organization to help plan an activity and/or provide suicide awareness and prevention training. To learn more about the Stark County Suicide Prevention Coalition, contact Elena Aslanides-Kandis at 330-455-6644 or Elena.Kandis@StarkMHAR.org.