Brigham Suicide Prevention was founded under a one-year grant (2014-2015) given to a founding member by Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities to create a suicide prevention coalition for Brigham City, Utah and surrounding areas. After a brief extension of that grant, the coalition was formed initially of professionals in the community from Bear River Mental Health, First District Juvenile Court, New Hope Crisis Center, Family Support Center, Veteran’s Education, Bear River Health Department, DHS System of Care, and Brigham City Police Department. Our first meeting was held May 18, 2015 and the coalition was formed to educate the community on suicide prevention and awareness. Adding the voice of true experience to our team was critical and several survivors of suicide completions soon joined the team.
From the time the volunteer coalition began until the date of true organization and non-profit designation in February 2017, four community events were held in public buildings, funded by donations, and hosted by volunteer presenters. Since the non-profit designation, the coalition has held five additional community events with many more in the works. The coalition is now moving toward additional community education success by setting specific goals, strategies, and outcome measures to achieve on a yearly basis beginning January 2018 and reaching on to the unforeseeable future. We hope to gain partners through community grants and donations to help in educating our local community by training our members who know and understand this community’s issues and resource availability.
Not everyone has access to resources due to money and insurance limitations, so we are attempting to do our part by at least training community members to be aware of the signs of suicide and be prepared for difficult conversations regarding contemplation of suicide rather than avoiding it. We are looking forward to building this coalition into a great community resource as we strive to educate and dismantle the stigma regarding seeking help for mental health issues. Together, we can prevent suicide.