NH police, military, addressing suicide prevention

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire Suicide Prevention Council is noting how the “mind set” in law enforcement, education, medicine and the military has changed for the better in efforts toward preventing suicide.

Members talked about those changes Monday at a news conference at the Legislative Office Building in Concord.

For example, participants discussed a program run by the Department of Health and Human Services, Easter Seals and the New Hampshire National Guard called the “Deployment Cycle Support Program” offered to military personnel.

“It provides comprehensive care coordination to our military, helping them to access mental health services and other supports,” said Nancy Rollins, the health department’s associate commissioner. “Experts believe that most suicidal individuals do not want to die. They just want to end the pain they are experiencing. Recognizing this pain early can lead to saving lives.”

Jose Montero, New Hampshire’s public health director, said nationally, one person commits suicide about every 14 minutes.

“Here in New Hampshire, it’s the fifth leading cause of death overall and the second for people between the ages 15 to 34,” he said. “These statistics underscore the need for us to work together to change attitudes related to suicide and work to connect people with the help they need to prevent it. We know this works because our health care providers, regardless if they’re a primary care provide or a specialist, are now recognizing warning signs and are helping connect their patients with the help they need.”

Representatives from the New Hampshire Department of Corrections, state police, Concord Hospital and others also spoke.

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