Crisis Response Team (CRT)
The Worcester County Health Department’s Crisis Response Team provides 24 hour coverage 365 days a year to residents and visitors of Worcester County. CRT is activated by Law Enforcement, Atlantic General Hospital and various other agencies throughout the county. CRT provides an emergency mental health and addiction assessment on the scene and attempts to connect individuals to community resources as appropriate. Assessments are provided by master's level mental health professionals.
Are you or someone you know having suicidal thoughts?
If you are having suicidal thoughts, help is available. Please reach out . . .
Maryland Youth Crisis Hotline: 800-422-0009
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALk
Life Crisis Hotline: 410-749-4357
Yellow Ribbon Program: www.yellowribbon.org
U Life Line: www.ulifeline.org
Go Ask Alice: www.goaskalice.columbia.edu
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger because of thoughts of suicide, call 911 now.
Know the signs:
If you suspect someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, know the warning signs. Most suicidal individuals give some warning of their intentions. The most effective way to prevent a friend or loved one from taking his or her life is to recognize the factors that put people at risk for suicide. Take warning signs seriously and know how to respond. Warning signs might include:
Observable signs of serious depression:
- Unrelenting low mood
- Anxiety, psychological pain and inner tension
- Withdrawal or lack of interest in usual activities
- Sleep problems
- Increased alcohol and/or other drug use
- Recent impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks
- Threatening suicide or expressing a strong wish to die
Making a plan:
- Giving away prized possessions
- Sudden or impulsive purchase of a firearm
- Obtaining other means of killing oneself such as poisons or medications
- Unexpected rage or anger
If you recognize these signs in a friend or loved one, be willing to listen.
Don't be afraid to ask
Start by telling the person you are concerned and give him/her examples. If he/she is depressed, don't be afraid to ask whether he/she is considering suicide, or if he/she has a particular plan or method in mind. Ask if they have a therapist and/or are taking medication.
Do not attempt to argue someone out of suicide. Rather, let the person know you care, he/she is not alone, suicidal feelings are temporary and depression can be treated. Avoid the temptation to say "You have so much to live for" or "Suicide will hurt your family”.
Many people experiencing depression feel overwhelmed by roles and activities related to family, social and work matters and may not feel they have much to live for. Their future may seem unmanageable. Due to feelings of worthlessness or guilt they may believe their family would be better off without them.
During a suicidal crisis it is important that the person feels others are listening and understand their feelings. Once safety is established there will be time to address stressors and concerns impacting their well being.
When it comes to suicide, secrets can be deadly.
If you think one of your friends or classmates may be thinking of killing themselves:
- Never promise to keep someone's thoughts to kill him- or herself a secret
- If you think a person is in danger, you need to tell someone who can intervene
- If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, it's important for you to tell someone you trust and seek help.
You can be a lifesaver.
You should then become actively involved in encouraging the person to see a physician or mental health professional immediately. Individuals contemplating suicide often don't believe they can be helped, so you may have to do more.
Help the person find a knowledgeable mental health professional or a reputable treatment facility, and take them to the treatment. The Worcester County Health Department offers individual, family and group counseling as well as psychiatric care for Worcester County residents.
If a friend or loved one is threatening, talking about or making plans for suicide, these are signs of an acute crisis. Do not leave the person alone and remove from the vicinity any firearms, drugs or sharp objects that could be used for suicide. Then, call 911 or the Life Crisis Hotline at 410-749-4357 for assistance. Your actions can save a life.
Survivors of Suicide Support Group
Recovery following the loss of a loved one to suicide is a painful and complicated journey through grief. Coming to terms with loss can be very difficult when faced alone. Regardless of the age, relationship or tragic circumstances surrounding their loss, there are others who understand.
Now survivors in Worcester County are not alone. The Jesse Klump Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Worcester County Health Department have partnered to host monthly support group meetings for those left behind by suicide. Meetings are being held at 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday each month at the Berlin Office of the Health Department, 9730 Healthway Drive adjacent to Atlantic General Hospital. Meetings are conducted by a trained facilitator and a licensed social worker.
“We wanted to create a welcoming place of compassion and understanding,” said scholarship fund President Kim Klump, who lost her son to suicide in 2009. “It can be a huge relief to talk openly about suicide with people who really understand.” Kim trained in support group management through a program sponsored by the America Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Anyone who has lost a friend or family member is invited to attend at no cost. Support group meetings are casual, attended only by survivors and facilitators.
“Family members and friends often feel stigmatized because suicide is not a topic most people are comfortable discussing,” said Alisa Crockett, a licensed clinical social worker who supervises the Worcester County Health Department’s Suicide Prevention Program. “This can lead to feelings of isolation as individuals attempt to manage their grief and pain alone. We are very pleased to be partnering with the JKMSF to provide this service to the families in our community who have suffered a loss due to suicide.”