NH DHHS - NH Highlighted in National Suicide Prevention Strategy at Conference

This Year’s Theme: Reflect, Refresh, Renew

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) in collaboration with the State Suicide Prevention Council, the

Youth Suicide Prevention Assembly, and the National Alliance on Mental

Illness (NAMI)-NH Chapter held the 8th Annual Suicide Prevention

Conference. This year’s conference theme is Reflect, Refresh, Renew.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Jerry Reed, Director of the Suicide Prevention

Resource Center at the Education Development Center, spoke about how

prevention programs and strategies in New Hampshire fit with the newly

released, 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.

“Everyone has a part in helping to prevent suicides, which is the second

leading cause of death among youth and young adults in this State up to the

age of 24 and the fourth leading cause of death for adults ages 25–54,”

said Dr. José Montero, Director of the Division of Public Health Services

at DHHS. “It is gratifying that New Hampshire is being recognized for the

good work we are doing around this very painful topic, but there is still

more to be done.”

“Many of our own homegrown programs, such as CONNECT and the project with

the New Hampshire Firearm Safety Coalition, are looked at as Best Practices

in the National Strategy,” said Erik Riera, Administrator for the Bureau of

Behavioral Health at DHHS. “The National Strategy also highlights the need

to provide targeted prevention strategies for different segments of the


As a follow-up, morning breakouts at the conference offered three

scenarios, one case each for an adolescent, a postpartum woman, and a

member of the military. Best practices for prevention and postvention were

also discussed.

The Conference was for anyone interested in suicide prevention from

survivors of suicide loss to professionals working in the field. Other

topics addressed during the day included a session on ethics, suicide

prevention in older adults, and strategies for community healing after a

suicide has occurred.

Warning signs for suicide include:

Talking about death or suicide



Increasing alcohol or drug use


If you are worried about someone or are suicidal yourself, please call

1-800-273-TALK, a 24/7 crisis line. Help is available.

For more information on suicide prevention, visit the Suicide Prevention

Resource Center at www.sprc.org  or the National Alliance for Mentally Ill

New Hampshire at www.naminh.org/education/suicide-prevention  or the DHHS

Bureau of Behavioral Health at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bbh/contact.htm