The Mid-Shore State Health Improvement Process (SHIP) team has identified suicide attempts on the Mid-Shore as an important factor of focus. The state has targets and the SHIP team locally will set targets which this committee could help to achieve.
Suicide rates have increased over all age ranges except > 65.
“Means Matter" it is important to understand methods of suicide attempts – because some methods are more lethal than others.
More people are using hanging to kill themselves. This form of suicide has specifically increased among females.
Ethnicity – the highest rates of suicides are by whites.
Queen Anne's County has the lowest rate on the Shore but the committee questions that data. Additionally QAC youth suicide is higher than the average.
Another important indicator is the number of Emergency Room Visits by people who have attempted but not completed suicide.
The Sheriff's deputy reported anecdotally that during bad weeks they have to respond to 5-7 suicide attempts a day.
Greatest cause of emergency room visits is from categories related to stress, anxiety, or depression.
National PerspectiveContributing Factors for Rise in Suicide Rates Among Middle Aged Adults
Recent economic downturn (historically, suicide rates correlate with business cycles, with higher rates observed during economic hardship)
Cohort effect – “baby boomer" generation had high rates of suicides during adolescence which may contribute to higher risk of suicides in middle age (culture of tolerance)
Increase in prescription opioid addiction contributing to increased risk for suicide
Lack research to explain differences across racial pop's., middle aged Whites and AI/AN are 3-4x more likely to commit suicide then Blacks, Hispanic, or Asians, even when controlling for mental illness
The Committee has identified the need for further research and education around the topic especially as it relates to the LBTBQ population in Queen Anne's County.
The committee believes completed suicides are much higher than what is gleaned from the data due to the stigma and the way the information from autopsies is reported.
The numbers from the Operations Center are only those who have called in for assistance.
More needs to be done to prevent suicides in Queen Anne's County but true solutions are difficult to obtain. We plan to continue to increase successful solutions in Queen Anne's County.
Board of Education
Mental Health Providers
Hospice - Need to add to Committee
Families - as ready to participate and as they understand their role and purpose on this committee
Faith Based Institutions
Dept. of Juvenile Services
Dept. of Social Services
Aging Community - MD Access Point
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
·Carol Masden (Mobile Crisis) was invited to participate but this meeting conflicts with a standing meeting already on her calendar. She will participate in events and contribute when possible through Holly Ireland.
·Ann Van Benschoten has been working to recruit a member from the faith community.
·Matt Evans has not yet spoken with anyone from Hospice but will follow up.
·Mary Ann Thompson will follow up with a paramedic that was suggested by Dr. Ciatola.
Public Service Announcements-MD Mental Health Channel
Locate Survey on Kids and Parents Attitudes and complete on locally
AFSP Out of the Darkness Walk Mid Shore
Continue Yellow Ribbon Program in Schools
Continue Text to Stop it Program
Provide Gun Safety Training
What We Do
To make Queen Anne's County citizens knowledgeable and help them recognize indicators of suicidal thinking and link residents in need with prevention and intervention services.
The LMB formed the Anti-Suicide Committee in the Summer of 2012. Soon after the committee was formed it became part of the Anti-Bullying committee. It was later determined that for the most part the goals were mostly different for the two committees and it might be a good idea to split the committees into individual committees again. In the summer of 2013, Holly Ireland was asked to chair the Anti-Suicide committee by the Chair of the Local Management Board. The committee was later renamed: Partnership for Suicide Prevention. The committee hopes to work closely and otherwise align with Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, the Regional Core Service Agency and other organizations and efforts that are working toward the same goal of suicide prevention. The Local team of the State of Maryland Health Improvement Process (SHiP), an initiative encouraged by the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to focus on and improve health indicators in Maryland that have been determined to be especially poor, is chaired by Dr. Spenser, Health Officer for Kent and Caroline Counties. The local group recently established targets relating to suicide rates on the Mid-Shore.
The Suicide Prevention group is comprised of members of
the school system, the local management board, mid-shore behavioral health, the
health department, mobile crisis and parents/family members that have been
affected by suicide. Pat Kotzen is a parent member but she is also our local
representative with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This
group strives to reduce the stigma surrounding the topic of suicide, bring
education to the community regarding this issue and provide trainings on mental
health related topics around the county. They are also involved in the annual
walk in Kent Island to raise funds for projects such as trainings. The group
has been successful in providing these trainings, getting billboards on Rt. 50
in regards to suicide prevention, and working with Mobile Crisis who provides
the group with statistics relating to suicide/crisis calls in our county as
well as the surrounding counties.