Family Service League Offers Services in Suicide Prevention and Intervention

Family Service League noted Friday that it offers a comprehensive series of services in counseling, suicide prevention, and intervention.

The agency said suicide is a public health crisis and while not a new phenomenon, the deaths this week of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain emphasized the tragedy of suicide. In recent years, the suicide rate for teens and adults has increased.

“Unfortunately, many people go undiagnosed or don’t seek treatment when they are experiencing depression or have a mental illness.  Many people who complete suicide suffer from untreated or poorly treated depression. Suicide and depression know no barriers – it affects people of all ages, races, and income levels.” said Karen Boorshtein, president and CEO of FSL.

 FSL programs help individuals and loved ones recognize that everyday life experiences such as family changes, illness, hopelessness, or depression all have a role in suicidal behavior.

  Often these events occur along with disorders like substance use, anxiety, and psychosis.  Sometimes suicidal behavior is triggered by events such as personal loss or violence.  FSL’s life-saving programs provide guidelines for how to help yourself or someone thinking of suicide; what questions to ask, how to ask those questions and, most importantly, how to get immediate help.

FSL offers a broad spectrum of services designed to help individuals through life’s most critical challenges. As a direct result of a number of suicides impacting Suffolk County, FSL had implemented the prevention program Safe TALK (Tell Ask Listen Keep safe), in coordination with the state Office of Mental Health.

  Safe TALK is three hour training offered to teens (15+) through seniors.  Some strategies that FSL encourages to help people from acting on suicidal thoughts include:

  • Effective medical treatment for mental, physical health problems and any substance abuse
  • Strong support network of friends, family, peer groups or outside activities
  • Developing problem solving skills, resolving conflicts and handling disputes without violence

FSL’s post-vention program, Joe’s Project, was created to provide immediate support to those surviving a loss by suicide.  Joe’s Project is a specialty service within the agency Community Crisis Action Team (C-CAT).  Joe’s Project staff is comprised of master’s level mental health workers with additional training from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. Post-ventions are with individuals, families and groups impacted by suicide, often days after the occurrence.   Anyone  impacted by suicide and is seeking help can contact the Joe’s Program 24/7 hotline number is 1-888 FSL-CCAT (1-888-375-2228).

For information on these programs please contact Family Service League

Robyn Berger-Gaston, LCSW-R, Division Director

631-591-7580 or [email protected] or 631-427-3700

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