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Suicide Prevention Coalition, LOSS Team seek volunteers

LISBON — The Columbiana County Suicide Prevention Coalition is looking for individuals interested in being part of the coalition, and is also recruiting members for its Local Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS Team).

The mission of the Columbiana County Suicide Prevention Coalition is to promote suicide prevention as a public health issue and to reduce factors that contribute to suicide. Coalition members include representatives from The Columbiana County Coroner’s Office, Education, Substance Use Prevention, Mental Health Treatment and Recovery, Addiction Treatment and Recovery, Clergy, Crisis Services, interested community members, and persons who have survived the loss of a loved one to suicide. The Coalition would like more representatives from these areas, and would like to add representatives from the areas of fire/EMS, law enforcement, veterans/military, hospitals/hospital chaplains, funeral homes and cemeteries.

Goals of the Suicide Prevention Coalition include:

— Provide awareness, information, and education to reduce stigma, increase identification and response to individuals considering suicide, and normalize help-seeking behaviors.

— Implement training and workforce enhancements to prevent suicide.

–Target prevention efforts to high risk groups including: youth, middle-aged men, and persons over the age of 65.

–Provide follow-up services to those affected by suicide and traumatic deaths.

The Coalition also operates a Local Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) Team to assist families and loved ones who have experienced a loss due to suicide or traumatic death. The LOSS Team is a group of trained volunteers who are available to respond to the immediate needs of survivors. The goal of the LOSS Team is to let families and loved ones know they are not alone and to share information about local resources that can help them deal with their loss.

Losing a loved one is a tragic and difficult experience, especially so when the loss is due to suicide. There is usually a sense of not knowing what to do or where to start. The LOSS Team’s goal is to let families know they are not alone and to share information about local resources to help them deal with their loss.

When a suicide occurs, if permission is obtained from survivors, the County Coroner’s office initiates a response by the LOSS Team. Members of the LOSS Team respond to the immediate needs of the survivors. This may include: assisting with notifying others, attending to children present, and encouraging self-care. Team members also provide information on resources to help them deal with their loss.

A LOSS Team training is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Columbiana County Department of Job and Family Services. Anyone interested in serving on the LOSS team can register for the training by contacting Lori Colian at 330-424-0195 or lcolian@ccmhrsb.org. It is important to note that even if you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to families in crisis due to suicide, there are many other ways you can participate and be a member of the team.

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