Special June Coalition Meeting Held with Department of Mental Health, Focused on Prevention

Thirty one Coalition members gathered at our quarterly meeting and engaged in rich discussion about the future goals and strategies for suicide prevention efforts in Vermont.

Thank you all for your continued engagement in the Coalition. Sixty three people attended the last special meeting of the Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition (VTSPC) meeting that was held virtually on June 16, 2020. 

JoEllen Tarallo, Executive Director, Center for Health and Learning, opened and shared the purpose of the meeting, joining the Department of Mental Health and statewide stakeholders for an actionable conversation about the latest resources for reducing suicide factors. 

Sarah Squirrell, DMH Commissioner, and Alison Krompf, Director of Quality and Accountability, DMH, provided an update on the Agency of Human Services (AHS) COVID19 and increased mental health risk factors. Risk mitigation includes increased Telehealth services, SAMSHA funding, and the ongoing Mental Health Awareness campaign. The Crisis Text Line has seen a slight decrease in suicide ideation texts and the four most common reasons for texting include depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and isolation. Caitlin Jelinek, Health Analyst, Vermont Department of Health, shared an update on the Suicide Prevention Data and Surveillance Report. The number of deaths in May 2020 were higher than in previous years.

Alison Krompf, DMH and JoEllen Tarallo, CHL,  then facilitated a dialogue with all coalition members focused on prevention. Responses were recorded from the chat log and are also posted.

Read the complete minutes, or view the slides or recording.

The primary questions included the following:

  • What is most important in prevention right now?
  • What is happening that we should know about?
  • What would you like to see happen?
  • What are the most important messages? What are we not saying that we should be? Who are we not reaching that we need to?

Debby Haskins, Senior Suicide Prevention Trainer, CHL, presented on Understanding the Importance of Postvention, focusing on the impact of planned responses and understanding the complexity of factors leading to suicidiality. She also shared additional resources and protocols for organizations and schools.

Also, a couple reminders for members. Zero Suicide and Umatter Webinars are being offered monthly. The Vermont Suicide Prevention Symposium, Bringing Resiliency Into Focus, is being held on August 18, 2020. Our symposium webpage is live, please share with colleagues and community members. https://vermontsuicidepreventionsymposium.org/

Please save the date for the next VTSP Coalition virtual meeting on September 10, 2020.

The slide deck and recording are below.

Thank you. Please contact melissa@healthandlearning.org if you have any questions. 

Here is the updated Need Help? card.

Click on the image, or go here to download a copy to print. Posters will be available soon and cards can be requested in large quantity print by emailing info@healthandlearning.org

Important upcoming dates to remember include:

Suicide Prevention Symposium(Virtual)August 18, 2020
Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition(Virtual)September 10, 2020
Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition(Format TBD)December 10, 2020

VT Suicide Prevention Coalition Virtual Meeting Recording

VT Suicide Prevention Coalition Virtual Meeting Presentation

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