Monroe, LA – Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (NEDHSA) announces the launch of its suicide prevention campaign, STAY. STAY is built on a simple, pragmatic request: that people considering suicide “Stay” and reach out for help. Just that request “to Stay” infers love. It indicates value that the community wants people to stay and heal.
NEDHSA Executive Director Dr. Monteic A. Sizer said STAY is an easy request for anyone to make and understand “if you don’t know what to say, start with STAY.”
“So many opportunities for conversations are lost by people unsure of the right words to say when dealing with people in need,” Dr. Sizer said. “STAY, as a word and a campaign, provides an easier on-ramp for conversation with a person you are seeking to help and are concerned about.”
The STAY campaign targets several specific high-risk groups for suicide, including teens, military and first responders, LGBTQ+, middle-aged men and women, and older men.
The STAY campaign consists of numerous components, including TV spots, digital and social media ads, posters, and more that invite people to call the 24/7 NEDHSA Behavioral Health Crisis line or to visit the STAY website for more information and local resources at staynedelta.org.
STAY is an added effort to what NEDHSA already has in place to reduce and bring awareness to suicide in Northeast Louisiana. The agency has deployed Al’s Pals and Signs of Suicide programs, distributed suicide-related information, and provided various trainings throughout the region’s school districts.
Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices is an early childhood curriculum designed to increase social and emotional competencies in young children. The resiliency-based curriculum provides real-life situations that introduce children to health-promoting concepts and build prosocial skills, such as understanding feelings, accepting differences, caring about others, using self-control, and managing anger. Signs of Suicide is a suicide prevention program that educates sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students about the relationship between suicide and depression.
To help reduce adult suicide, NEDHSA works holistically to reduce the negative social determinants of health. Specifically, NEDHSA works to combat food insecurity, high unemployment, community instability, poor education, and inadequate housing options, just to name a few.
Recently, NEDHSA provided Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), an evidence-based two-day face-to-face workshop featuring powerful audiovisuals, discussions, and simulations. Because of this training, the Town of Farmerville and the Union Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness learned how to reduce suicide by recognizing signs, learning how to provide skilled interventions, and better understand how to develop safety plans to keep people alive.
Dr. Sizer added: “Our nation and our communities are in unprecedented times for suicide and suicidal ideation. The pandemic, climate change, economic uncertainty, and political upheaval have had extremely harmful effects on the mental health and general well-being of our families, friends, and neighbors. Too many suffer in silence, perhaps without realizing help is available. People see their loved ones suffer and are not sure how to help them. Just say Stay!”
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