by Carol Leish, MA
“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”—Anne Frank
Those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call: 988 (The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline); or, call the Ventura County Behavioral Health Crisis Team at: 866-998-2243. It’s important to get the help that you need in order to deal with a crisis in order to realize that you are not alone, and that your situation will improve. For further resources, visit: www.WellnessEveryDay.Org.
988, which was launched nationally on July 16, 2022, is an easy-to-remember number that is a direct connection to compassionate, easily accessible care and support for anyone experiencing a mental health-related distress-including thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. Residents can also dial 988 if they are concerned about a loved one who may need crisis support (www.988lifeline.org).
Preventing Suicide: Connections & Community 7th Annual Forum will be both In-Person and Virtually. In-Person: Ventura College on Wednesday, September 21st from 9:30am-2pm, with lunch included. Virtually it will be online for Highlights and Discussion on Thursday, September 29th from 4pm-5:30pm.
“This year’s Suicide Prevention forum, ‘Preventing Suicide: Connections & Community’ will feature inspirational stories, creative expression, and wellness activities,” according to Dr. Jamie Rotnosfsky, PhD., Mental Health Service Act Senior Manager at Ventura County Behavioral Health and co-chair of the Ventura County Suicide Prevention Council. “Information about, as well as connections to, local resources will also be provided. The main stage will be held outdoors followed by breakout sessions.
“Breakout sessions will provide opportunities for deeper discussion and addressing questions. The sessions will include LGBTQ+, older adults, youth and young adults, families, mental wellness, and a session held in Spanish.”
According to Dr. Rotnosfsky, Phd., “Space is limited for both the in-person and virtual free events. Please register for either event. Please be sure to register for both events if you plan on attending the two Suicide Prevention events. All events are free and for the Ventura County Community.
“The event is sponsored by Ventura County Behavioral Health, Ventura County Suicide Prevention Council, Ventura College, Ventura County Office of Education and BRITE (Building Resilience & Inclusion Through Engagement).”
Save the dates (September 21st & September 29th), and register now! Interpretation and childcare will be available upon request. Register at: www.brite.link/forum 2022.