More than 1,100 people died by suicide last year in Virginia. Commonwealth residents are three times more likely to die by suicide than by homicide. The Fredericksburg area is not immune. Fifty residents of Planning District 16 died by suicide in 2015. A coalition of community organizations aims to bring awareness to this problem and to explore solutions.
The Rappahannock Summit on Suicide Prevention: A Message of Hope will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the John F. Fick, III Conference Center. Mary Washington Healthcare, Rappahannock Area Community Services Board and Rappahannock United Way will sponsor the event, which will include a workshop for community stakeholders during the day. Mental Health America of Fredericksburg, Rappahannock Area Health Department and the Community Collaborative for Youth and Families teamed up to support this community conversation.
“Suicide is a complex and difficult topic, with behavioral health and other factors involved,” said RACSB Executive Director Jane Yaun. “It is very important to note, however, that there is hope. Depression is treatable, and there are many community resources available for individuals who are struggling.”
The keynote speaker will be Colleen Carr, director of policy and national partner initiatives for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. The town hall will also feature a panel of local experts.
Refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6 p.m. The Fick Conference Center is at 1301 Sam Perry Blvd. on the Mary Washington Hospital Campus. To register, call 540/741-1404.