City launches suicide prevention efforts

City launches suicide prevention efforts
(File Photo)

By Kassidy McDonald |

September marks the start of National Suicide Prevention Month, and the Department of Community and Human Services is encouraging residents to help raise awareness by promoting free resources.

DCHS is promoting online resources on Facebook and Twitter, and residents are encouraged to share these posts with their networks. The resources include ways to recognize the signs of suicide, get help and support someone in crisis, support their own and others’ mental health and get involved in suicide prevention efforts, according to a news release.

Besides promoting resources and education, Alexandria residents can obtain free firearm locks and medicine lock boxes through the Lock & Talk program. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, firearms accounted for 53 % of all suicide deaths in 2020, and 19% of people who complete suicide use poison or medication.

Firearm locks and medicine lock boxes are available at the following locations: Alexandria Sheriff’s Office; Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Office; Alexandria Health Department and DCHS.

For more information, to learn about the new National Suicide Prevention Hotline “988” or to access local help directly through Crisis Link: Text “CONNECT” to 85511 or call 703-527-4077.