Suicide Prevention & Mental Health First Aid
Most recent statistics indicate that there were 48,344 deaths by suicide in 2018 in the United States. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
The suicide rate of a community is a key indicator of its mental health status. Harford County’s rate of 10.7 per 100,000 population far exceeds the 9.3 rate for the state of Maryland. According to the Maryland Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for 2014-2016, 21% of Harford County residents have been diagnosed with depressive disorder, compared to 15.6% for the state.
In addition, 18.2% of high school students reported that they have seriously considered attempting suicide and 14.4% of high school students made a plan for how they would commit suicide.
The percentage of students who reported feeling sad or hopeless for more than two weeks in a row climbed 33.3% between the first year of middle school and the senior year of high school.
The OMH/CSA is passionate about paving the way to confront behavioral health stigma head-on. The stigma that often surrounds behavioral health, keeps many people from seeking the help they need when they need it most.
Harford County Crisis Response
- 1-800-NEXT-STEP, or locally 410-874-0711
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741
- For Veterans: Call 1-800-273-8255 and press option 1
- For those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss: TTY (teletypewriter): 1-800-273-8255o Go online to chat at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/for-deaf-hard-of-hearing/
- For free services in Spanish: 1-888-628-9454
- The 988 lifeline is now active across the United States. This new, shorter phone number will make it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services and has chat and text features (Click here) .Please note, the previous 1-800-273-TALK (8255) number will continue to function indefinitely.)
For LGBTQ+ Young People
- The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
- TrevorText: text START to 678-678
Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) is an emergency mental health intervention designed to teach citizens how to recognize someone at risk for suicide, intervene, and refer the individual to an appropriate source.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that works to reduce the suicide rate in the U.S. and to bring hope to anyone that has been affected by suicide. For more information on suicide rates in the U.S. and what is being done to prevent suicide, please visit their website (linked above).
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)
- Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an evidence-based approach which incorporates a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance use issues. For more information about MHFA, click here.
For more information about MHFA training opportunities, click here.