Health department gets grant for suicide prevention

The Hoke County Health Department recently received a grant to create a suicide prevention program.

The U. S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention says suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States.  According to the 2020 State of the County Health Report, suicide is one of the top 10 leading causes of death. The program at the Hoke County Health Department will seek to prevent suicide.

“Though this program is for everyone, it will be designed to focus on prevention, rather than intervention, and will specifically target men, rural Hoke residents, veterans, active-duty military, and youth (especially youth that is part of the LGBTQ community),” the department said in a statement about the grant.

“The program will focus on decreasing suicidal harm through reducing stigma and raising public awareness on warning signs.  Through partnership with Hope-N-Hoke coalition and Tia Hart Community Recovery Organization, efforts will be initiated to establish a Firearm Safety Team and Gatekeeper trainings to encourage and promote safe storage practices and suicide intervention education.”

Additionally, as of July 16, 988 is the new, nationwide three-digit number for mental health emergencies. The idea is to get people to call or text 988 instead of the police when they are experiencing emotional distress.   

For more information about the Hoke County Health Department Suicide Prevention Program, contact Isley Cotton at icotton@hokehealth.org or Tony V. Locklear at tlocklear@hokehealth.org.

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