Suicide Prevention through Community Connections
National Suicide Prevention week was September 9th-15th. For this week, in an effort to bring awareness and support prevention, MHS Behavioral Services, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Dnisha Mingo, launched a Suicide Prevention Awareness Initiative through Community Connections. In attendance were representatives of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and State Senate Majority Leader and candidate for Attorney General, Aaron D. Ford.
Beginning on World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, at 8 AM, MHS Behavioral Services opened its phone lines for a 24-hour period to assist those who may have been in crisis. Their initiative was facilitated by Cox Communications, who provided extra phones and phone lines to help make this initiative possible. In addition, Monte Vista Hospital teamed up with MHS; their clinicians volunteered their time to ensure that in excess of fifteen volunteers, licensed and experienced in suicide prevention, were available to field calls.
Suicide has risen 25% since 1999. It is the 10th leading cause of death in the US overall, and 2nd leading cause of death after accidents for youth, according to the CDC. Las Vegas has the 5th highest suicide rate in the country. MHS is committed to reducing those numbers through education. Awareness and intervention are the keys to prevention.
Recent research shows Nevada is the only state to have decreased suicide numbers in the country by 1%. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the best way to reduce the number of suicides is through coordination and cooperation. MHS Behavioral Services is giving back to keep Vegas Strong! Promoting awareness through their initiative: Suicide Prevention through Community Connections.
Richard Egan, Suicide Prevention Training and Outreach Facilitator of the State of Nevada's Office of Suicide Prevention, provided additional insights on Thursday, September 13 about the statistics and factors of suicide in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition, he discussed how we can continue to reduce Nevada’s numbers. His presentation was augmented by the efforts of Dnisha Mingo, Chief Executive Officer of Mingo Health Solutions Behavioral Services, who presented information relative to the tools necessary to keep safe, identify warning signs, and actions to take when someone is in crisis.
On Saturday, September 15, Mingo Health Solutions Behavioral Services partnered with the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention for their Walk for Hope Walkathon at Bob Miller Middle School.
A special thank you to Café Rio and Fleming’s Steakhouse who provided lunch and dinner for the volunteers who manned the hotline on September 10 and 11. In addition, thanks to Andre Haynes, UNLV, EMG radio, and Power 88.1FM’s “The Breakdown Crew” who shared the initiative with the community. And last, but certainly not least, Zandra Polard, Letty Cortez, Semaj Campbell and the entire Mingo Health Solutions Behavioral Services team who helped make this possible!
According to Ms. Mingo, “We are thankful to all those in the community who supported, volunteered, donated, shared and connected with us to continue to BE THE CHANGE and help the mental and behavioral healthcare of our community.”