Greenwich Launches “Suicide Postvention Response Team” after Doubling of Anxiety and Depression in SW Connecticut

On Monday a crowd gathered outside Greenwich Town Hall to raise awareness of mental health in the community.

Commissioner of Human Services Demetria Nelson said that data from The Hub: Behavioral Health Action Organization for Southwest Connecticut informs us that 41% of adults reported suffering from one or both anxiety and depression, a statistic that doubled compared to prior to the pandemic.

The 2021 Greenwich Youth Survey revealed that youth across all grades reported anxiety and depression in the past 30 days of taking the survey.

Mental health and emotional health issues are more frequently reported by older students than younger students, and alcohol is the most frequently used substance by youth.

Ms Nelson said a goal for the town is to normalize discussion about mental health and substance use, reduce stigma and encourage residents to seek the support they need.

The Greenwich Suicide Postvention response team sponsored a proclamation on Tuesday.

“When a death by suicide occurs, it effects family members, friends and communities,” Nelson said.

The Greenwich Suicide Postvention response team can assist Greenwich residents in receiving the support they need after a death by suicide. They help support the healing of individuals from the grief of loss.

Last year Kids in Crisis, Greenwich Together and the Greenwich Dept of Human Services joined together to explore developing the suicide postvention response team in town.

The response team was officially launched on Tuesday.

Deputy Chief Kraig Gray, Deputy Chief Robert Berry, Commissioner of Human Services Demetria Nelson, First Selectman Fred Camillo and Selectperson Janet Stone McGuigan in front of Town Hall after Camillo declared the month of May Mental Health Month. May 10, 2022 Photo: Leslie Yager

First Selectman Fred Camillo described Ms Nelson as a treasure. “She answers calls, not within minutes, but within seconds,” Camillo said. “We’re also blessed to live in a town with a hospital, and certainly with a police department that’s always there on the frontlines with people who are experiencing difficulties with mental health.”

Camillo said mental health, in addition to spiritual health and physical health, are the keys to productivity and living a good life.

He proclaimed May 2022 as Mental Health Awareness Month in the Town of Greenwich to help raise awareness of mental health concerns and encourage law enforcement and first responders, prevention services, healthcare treatment providers, human services agencies, community partners and concerned residents to unite and address the mental health crisis.

Suicide postvention is an organized way of responding after a death by suicide.

The Greenwich Suicide Postvention Response Team consists of individuals that represent multiple organizations in the community, including first responders, mental health and addiction professionals, Town department employees, school system employees (public and private) spiritual leaders, funeral home directors and health care professionals.

They can help by connecting you to emotional or spiritual care supports, linking you with needed medical care, and finding help to meet your basic needs. They also provide resources to support the community after a death by suicide.

Crisis Lines:

Youth Mobile crisis Intervention Services
Call 211 or click HERE.
CT Adult Mobile Crisis Services
Call 211 or 1-800-HOPE-135 or Click HERE.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Click HERE for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The Trevor Project – LGBTQIA Youth Crisis Resources
Call 1-866-488-7386
Text “START” to 678-678
Click HERE for The Trevor Project

Kids in Crisis – 24/7 Helpline
Call 203-661-1911
Click HERE for Kids in Crisis