Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Program

In This Issue
Bay State suicide rate on the rise
Drug Overdose Deaths Among Women Aged 30-64 Years - United States, 1999-2017
For Third Straight Year, Police Suicides Outnumber Line-Of-Duty Deaths
Child suicides can be linked to bullying, but it's never the sole cause, mental health professionals say
Suicide Attempts in the US Army During the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 2004 to 2009
Suicide Prevention Program
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Bay State suicide rate on the rise

Rick Sobey
Lowell Sun
January 12, 2019

Suicide rates are rising in Massachusetts and across the country, though despite the rising numbers and the complexities of the issue, people are always available to help anyone in need.

Death by suicide is now the second-leading cause of death in the country for those ages 15 to 24, according to Debbie Helms, director of the Samaritans of Merrimack Valley, which has confidential crisis help lines.

The leading cause of death for this age group is accidents (unintentional injuries). Previously, the second-leading cause of death was homicide, which is now third.

"It's important for people to know that suicide is preventable and there are many treatment options," Helms said. "We need people to reach out so we can help them. They are not alone."

Massachusetts youth suicides rose from 69 in 2014 to 76 in 2015. That figure increased to 86 in 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available.

Overall in 2016, 638 people died by suicide in Massachusetts. Over the past several years, Massachusetts has usually seen a 3 to 4 percent increase in the number of total suicide deaths each year.

Most of the individuals have an underlying mental health condition that has not been diagnosed, Helms said. Parents need to notice the warning signs, she emphasized.

These risk factors include: skipping school, dropping out of a sport for no apparent reason, and not socializing as much.

"When parents notice anything different out of their children's behavior, they need to open up a frank and honest discussion about it," Helms said. "They need to say, 'We're here for you, and we want you to be safe.'"

To read the entire article click here
Drug Overdose Deaths Among Women Aged 30-64 Years - United States, 1999-2017
Jacob P. VanHouten, MD, PhD;  Rose A. Rudd, MSPH ; Michael F. Ballesteros, PhD ; Karin A. Mack, PhD; Felice J. Freyer
Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report
 January 11, 2019

The drug epidemic in the United States continues to evolve. The drug overdose death rate has rapidly increased among women (1 ,2 ), although within this demographic group, the increase in overdose death risk is not uniform. From 1999 to 2010, the largest percentage changes in the rates of overall drug overdose deaths were among women in the age groups 45-54 years and 55-64 years (1 ); however, this finding does not take into account trends in specific drugs or consider changes in age group distributions in drug-specific overdose death rates. To target prevention strategies to address the epidemic among women in these age groups, CDC examined overdose death rates among women aged 30-64 years during 1999-2017, overall and by drug subcategories (antidepressants, benzodiazepines, cocaine, heroin, prescription opioids, and synthetic opioids, excluding methadone). Age distribution changes in drug-specific overdose death rates were calculated. Among women aged 30-64 years, the unadjusted drug overdose death rate increased 260%, from 6.7 deaths per 100,000 population (4,314 total drug overdose deaths) in 1999 to 24.3 (18,110) in 2017. The number and rate of deaths involving antidepressants, benzodiazepines, cocaine, heroin, and synthetic opioids each increased during this period. Prescription opioid-related deaths increased between 1999 and 2017 among women aged 30-64 years, with the largest increases among those aged 55-64 years. Interventions to address the rise in drug overdose deaths include implementing the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain  (3 ), reviewing records of controlled substance prescribing (e.g., prescription drug monitoring programs, health insurance programs), and developing capacity of drug use disorder treatments and linkage to care, especially for middle-aged women with drug use disorders.

To read the entire article  click here.
For Third Straight Year, Police Suicides Outnumber Line-Of-Duty Deaths

David Lohr
The Huffington Post
January 2, 2019

The estimated number of law enforcement officers who died by suicide outnumbered those who died in the line of duty for the third straight year in 2018, a newly released study shows.

  Blue H.E.L.P., a Massachusetts-based nonprofit run by active and retired police officers, medical professionals and victims' families,  compiled and released the grim data this week.

According to the organization, at least 159 officers took their own lives in 2018 - the same number of suicide fatalities it tracked in 2017 and 19 more than in 2016.

By contrast, the estimated number of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty last year was 145, according to an annual report   released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund .

In December alone, 20 officers died by suicide, whereas only 10 line-of-duty deaths were reported.

"The single greatest cause of death for law enforcement officers each year is suicide," said Jeff McGill, vice president of Blue H.E.L.P.

The suicide fatalities include 151 men and eight women. The average age was 41, with an average length of service of 15 years.

Four states - California, Florida, New York, and Texas - had the highest number of officer suicides, with each state reporting at least 10 fatalities in 2018.

To read the entire article  click here.  
Child suicides can be linked to bullying, but it's never the sole cause, mental health professionals say

Jayne O'Donnell & Marina Pitofsky
USA Today
 December 13, 2018

The death by suicide of a 9-year-old Alabama girl this month has drawn attention back to the alarming increase in suicide by youth, and to the question of whether bullying is playing a role.

It was at least the third death by suicide this year of a child younger than 12 who had been harassed by peers. Mental health professionals say bullying can be a factor in a child's decision to attempt suicide but is typically one of several.

"There is not a causal link between bullying - either being victimized or being a perpetrator - and suicidal ideation and attempts," says University of Florida psychology professor Dorothy Espelage, lead author of a  2013 study on bullying and suicide. "It is one potent predictor of suicidal ideation and attempts, (but) it's one of many."

The family of McKenzie Adams, who was black,  told the Tuscaloosa News that the girl was bullied with racist taunts at the school where she attended fourth grade and at a school she attended briefly in kindergarten.

The schools told the Alabama newspaper they didn't receive reports of bullying.

Data on the link between bullying and suicide is available for teens. A  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report covering 2007 through 2017 found that 17 percent of high school students are bullied. About 7 percent attempted suicide.

To read the entire article  click here.
Suicide Attempts in the US Army During the Wars in Afghanistan
 and Iraq, 2004 to 2009 

Robert J. Ursano, MD; Ronald Kessler, PhD; Murray B. Stein, MD, MPH; James A. Naifeh, PhD; Pablo A. Aliaga, MA; Carol S. Fullerton, PhD; Nancy A. Sampson, BA; Tzu-Cheg Kao, PhD; Lisa J. Colpe, PhD, MPH; Michael Schoenbaum, PhD; Kenneth L. Cox, MD, MPH; Steven G. Heeringa, PhD
JAMA Psychiatry
September 2015
The rate of suicide attempts in the US Army increased sharply during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Research on this important health outcome has been hampered by the lack of integration among Army administrative data systems.

To identify risk factors for suicide attempts among active-duty members of the regular Army from January 1, 2004, through December 31, 2009.

Design, Setting, and Participants
This longitudinal, retrospective cohort study, as part of the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (STARRS), used individual-level-person-month records from Army and Department of Defense administrative data systems to examine sociodemographic, service-related, and mental health predictors of medically documented suicide attempts among active-duty regular Army soldiers from January 1, 2004, through December 31, 2009. We analyzed data from 9791 suicide attempters and an equal-probability sample of 183,826 control person-months using a discrete-time-survival framework. Data analysis was performed from February 3 through November 12, 2014.   

To read the entire article click here

 Suicide Prevention Providers January 2019 

As we enter January, the Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Program would like to share several articles and events which may be of interest to you. Thank you for submitting your upcoming events, trainings, workshops, recent media coverage and funding opportunities.  Please consider forwarding these announcements to any of your colleagues that may be interested in attending any of these great events and trainings.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Grief and Loss Support Services in Western Massachusetts
Greater Springfield in East Longmeadow -  Survivors of Suicide Loss
Contact Name : Diana & Paul Lewis; 413-525-7752 or  
 Meeting Place
: Forestiere-Smith Funeral Home, 220 North Main St
 East Longmeadow, MA
Meeting Day(s)/Time : 3rd Mondays every month 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Peer facilitated, No Fee, Group does not meet on major holidays

Northampton - Surviving a Suicide Loss
Contact Name : Geraldine Unger, 413-203-1200 or
 Meeting Place
: Forbes Library (Watson Room), 20 West Street,
 Northampton, MA
Meeting Day(s)/Time : 2nd Tuesday every month 1:00 - 2:30pm 
 Greenfield - Surviving the Loss of a Teenage or Adult Child
Contact Name: John Kick, 413-253-9523 or
 Meeting Place: Baystate Franklin Medical Center, 164 High Street,  Conference Room A, Greenfield, MA
Meeting Day(s)/Time: 1st and 3rd Monday every month 6:00 - 7:30pm 
 Pittsfield - Healing After Suicide Loss
Contact Name: Peggy Morse, 413-441-6316 or  
Meeting Place: Berkshire Children & Family, Family Resource Center, 480 West Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201
Meeting Day(s)/Time: 1st Thursday of every month 5:30 - 7:00pm 
Peer (Survivor) Facilitated, No Fee

Department of Public Health
10th Annual Community Health Worker Conference
May 16, 2019
10th Annual CHW Conference Save the Date
10th Annual CHW Conference Call for Abstracts 2019

18th Annual Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Conference Save the Date 
May 1 & 2, 2019
Location: The Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center, Framingham, MA
More information to come

2019 Ounce of Prevention Conference
Date: April 2, 2019
Location: DCU Center, Worcester, MA

Aging and the Art of Optimism: There is Good News! Webinar
Date: Thursday, January 24, 2019 from 10:00am - 11:30am EST
Are you aware that most people reach their peak of happiness at age 85? This webinar will challenge 
the paradigm that depression, loneliness, and isolation are normal parts of aging and embrace the possibility that we can all learn optimism and feel more hopeful at any age. 
Start the New Year with this refreshing look at how we can adjust the lens through which we view the world and re-focus on building hope and resilience in our older adult communities. 

Job Posting - Director, Division of Violence and Injury Prevention,Bureau of Community Health and Prevention - (190000BH)
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is seeking an experienced public health professional to provide strategic and visionary leadership for the Division of Violence and Injury Prevention within the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention (BCHAP).  With a staff of 16 and a total budget of nearly $18M, the Division of Violence and Injury Prevention (DVIP) and its programs work to prevent injuries and violence, and to promote and provide effective response systems for those impacted.  The terms "violence" and "injury" encompass a number of issues that include child and youth violence, gun violence, suicide and self-inflicted injury, and unintentional injuries such as drowning, suffocation, sports injuries, fire and burn injuries, motor vehicle crash injuries, older adult falls, and poisonings. These programs/initiatives are structured into three major units:  Injury Prevention and Control Program (focusing on unintentional injury), Suicide Prevention Unit, and the Child and Youth Violence Prevention Unit. DPH is seeking a strong leader to help coalesce and think across these violence and injury prevention programs for a systemic approach to prevention, intervention, etc. and ensure alignment and synergy. 
To read entire job description click here

Postvention: Responding to Schools and Communities Following Adolescent Suicide
Date: Friday, March 29, 2019 from 8:30am - 4:00pm 
Location: Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Road West, Marlborough, MA 
Registration: $35
Registration Deadline: March 25, 2019 (or when workshop reaches capacity)
Continuing Ed Credits: 5.5

RFR - Gun Violence Prevention, Intervention, Treatment and Recovery Services
The Department of Public Health has received $10M in funding for a pilot program that will focus on neighborhood-based gun and violent crime prevention. This program will target out-of-school youth and young adults aged 17 to 24 to prevent gun violence and other violent crime in neighborhoods and municipalities with the highest rates of gun violence in the Commonwealth and is intended to complement existing programs including the Shannon Community Safety Initiative (CSI), Safe and Successful Youth (SSYI) Grant, and/ or DPH Primary Violence Prevention through Positive Youth Development Grant (PVP). The Massachusetts Department of Public Health's (DPH) Child and Youth Violence Unit in the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention is seeking applications from non-profit organizations to provide prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services for young people impacted by gun violence and other forms of violent crimes. This procurement seeks to create and expand Positive Youth Development programming for young people by providing supportive services that assist young adults 17-24 years of age and out of school youth. An innovative aspect of this procurement includes supporting networks and communities where youth are at elevated risk for escalation of violence in their lives or who are currently involved in committing acts of violence in the Massachusetts communities with highest rates of gun violence. 

Train-the-Trainer on Opioid Overdose Prevention
Free Training of Trainers on Opioid Overdose Prevention provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. This training is ideal for individuals who work in community settings and would like more skills and education on this topic.
WHEN: January 18th in Barnstable, MA | March 11th in Canton, MA | May 24th in Springfield, MA
See more information and links to register HERE.

Heywood Hospital

MENder's Support Group
MENder's brings together guys facing similar issues including illness, anger, stress, substance abuse, relationship problems or major life changes. By using a whole host of techniques, participants can develop the skills to deal with stressors. Members of support groups often share experiences and advice. 
  • Athol MENder's Support Group takes place the first and third Monday of each month from 7:30 - 9 pm in Athol Hospital's Hillis Board Room. For more information, call (978) 630-6455.
  • Garderner MENder's Suport Group meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month from 7:00pm - 9:00pm at Heywood Hospital's Medical Arts Building, Conference Room, 242 Green Street, Gardner, MA. For more information, visit: or contact
Military Family Support Group
The Military Family Support Group offers a safe place for family members of both active and former military members to share their experiences, struggles and hope in overcoming the invisible wounds of war that affect thae entire family unit. Veterans and their loved ones can suffer from one or many of the following: survivor's guilt, separation anxiety, emotional numbing, adrenaline seeking, depression, anxiety, insomnia, alcohol and substance abuse, PTSD, and traumatic brain injury. The group coaches and supports military family members to find healing, balance, and strategies for positive re-integration for military members with their family and society. The Military Family Support Group also connects families with local resources. For more information, contact Crystal Bean at 978-320-9804.   

Suicide Attempt Survivor Support Group
Have you or a loved one attempted suicide and survived?
Could you benefit from a support group which provides a safe environment and promotes resiliency, increased self awareness of risk, encourages help-seeking and support? If so, consider joining a free monthly support group at Heywood Hospital. Meetings take place on the 4th Tuesday of every month from 6:30pm - 8:00pm in the Heywood Hospital Education Conference Room. For more information call
978-630-6166 or email .

Suicide Survivor Support Group
This group is intended for individuals who lost someone they know to suicide. All are welcome to attend. Meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6:30pm - 8:00pm in the Heywood Hospital Education Conference Room. For more information, contact Lynn Kvingedal at (978) 632-3240 or email  Individuals with questions can also contact the Mental Health Unit at (978) 630-6377.

LGBT Aging Project

8th Annual Conference: LGBT Elders in an Ever Changing World
Date: Friday, March 15, 2019 from 8:30am - 4:00pm
Location: Salem State University, Salem, MA
Featuring Keynote Speaker: 
Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen, Ph.D., Prinicipal Investigator, Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging and Sexuality/Gender Study, Professor and Director of the Healthy Generations Hartford Center of Excellence at the University of Washington
For more information about the conference visit or click here for a flyer for this year's conference. 

Mass Coalition  
Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention  
Accepting Nominations for MCSP Leadership in Suicide Prevention Awards  
The Awards Committee is currently accepting nominations for MCSP Leadership in Suicide Prevention Awards
We are attaching the nomination form, due back by Friday, January 25, 2019 by 5:00 pm.  Please make sure your nominations:
  • Are received by the deadline date and time
  • Follow the format of the nomination form, complete with ALL of the information required
  • Talk succinctly about the relevant contributions to suicide prevention, intervention and/or postvention that the nominee has made
  • Include a couple of lines about how the  nominee is supporting/furthering the work of the state and/or regional coalitions and state strategic plan
  • Are complete, thorough and have all relevant information the committee needs to make a decision.  
Please note that that all nominations must be detailed, complete and able to stand alone.  Because of the large number of nominations we receive and the time involved in reviewing the nominations, meeting to discuss the nominations, and making recommendations to the Executive Committee for their approval, we do not have the luxury of seeking any additional or missing information. So please make sure that when you submit your nomination form it gives us a really clear picture of why this person/organization should be considered for the award.   
Decisions are made based only on the information submitted.
For questions email Debbie Helms at

Save the Date - Annual State House Day
Registration and continental breakfast 9:00am - 9:30am
Awards Ceremony 9:30am - 12:00pm

Save the Date - Advocacy Day
Date: April 10, 2019 from 1:30pm - 5:00pm 
Location: TBD
*Registration is required for this event

Berkshire County Suicide Prevention Coalition 
Monthly Board Meeting
Every second Wednesday of the month from 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Location: Brien Center for Adolescent Services, Conference Room, 251 Feen Street, Pittsfield, MA

General Membership Meeting
Held Quarterly. For more information contact Lee Watroba at

Suicide Prevention in Berkshire County: Fostering Resiliency & Enhancing Connection
Date: Friday, April 5, 2019 from 8:00am - 4:30pm
Location: Berkshire Plaza Hotel, One West Street, Pittsfield, MA
Registration will be available at

Bristol County Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition 
General Membership Meeting
Location: St. Thomas Church Hall, 111 High Street, Taunton, MA
For more information about meetings, events and membership contact Annemarie Matulis at

Grief Support Roundtables for Suicide Loss Survivors
3rd Thursday of the month from 7:00pm - 8:30pm
St. Thomas Episcopal Church Rectory, 115 High Street, Traunton
Laure Lynch, Facilitator -, 508-878-0787
Riley Morgan, Facilitator -, 860-368-1593

Fall River
2nd Monday of the month from 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Blessed Trinity Parish, 1340 Plymouth Avenue, Fall River
Kathy Nemkovich, Facilitator -, 508-672-4854

New Bedford
Location and day of the week TBA
Michele Bailey, Facilitator -, 508-243-6933

Public Library at 74 North Main St. The program will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Contact coordinator Jacquie O'Brien, Attleboro's public health nurse, at 508-223-2222, ext. 3244 or email:

The Samaritans of Bristol County host two SafePlace Suicide Prevention Grief Support gatherings once twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays. For more information call 508-673-3777. 

Cape & Islands Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition
General Membership Meeting                                              
2nd Thursday of every odd-numbered month from 11:15am - 12:45pm  
Location:   Barnstable County Courthouse, Room 11/12
195 Main Street, Barnstable, MA 

Central Massachusetts Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition
General Membership Meeting
For more information about meetings, events and membership contact Steve Boczenowski at

Greater Boston Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition
General Membership Meeting 
General membership meetings will be held at Samaritans, Inc. at 41 West Street, 4th Floor, Boston, MA. For more information about meetings, events and membership contact  Ron White at 

Save the Date - The Ripple Effect
Date: April 16, 2019 from 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Nonprofit Center, 2nd Floor Conference Room, 89 South Street, Boston, MA 
Suicide: The Ripple Effect is a movie and a mission to eradicate suicide. This film is part of a global mission to help reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts around the world. Through sharing stories of survival and recovery we are creating significant awareness of this health crisis, while helping people find the support they need to stay alive, heal and #BeHereTomorrow! For more information contact: Claribette Del Rosario or Pata Suyemoto, 

MetroWest Suicide Prevention Coalition 

Call2Talk, a direct service of the United Way of Tri-County, is an emotional support and mental health helpline that actively engages with callers to help alleviate their feelings of despair, loneliness and potential suicidal ideation. Callers are encouraged to freely express their concerns and challenges to help them work through their own solutions. Through validation and nonjudgmental listening, callers are made to feel safe and are empowered to face their issues and feel emotionally safe. Part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network of Crisis Centers, Call2Talk currently provides phone support, free call talker training, as well as community outreach, education and support.
Crisis Line: 508-532-2255/1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Text Line: C2T to 741741
Business Line: 508-370-4857

General Membership Meeting
Location: United Way of Tri-County Building - 4th Floor, 46 Park Street, Framingham, MA
For more information about meetings, events and membership contact Eileen Davis at  

LOSSteam MetroWest (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) 
LOSSteam MetroWest (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) is a volunteer based grief support services program. The LOSSteam is called to the scene of actual suicides to provide support and resources to loved ones of the deceased. The goal is to provide real time, crisis support.  Research shows that following a LOSSteam visit, survivors seek help in less than 47 days, versus 4.5 years without LOSSteam intervention. This group supports the communities of Ashland, Hopkinton, Holliston, Sherborn, Hudson & Sudbury.  It is the first and only group of its kind in the entire Northeast.  To get more information on the program or joining the Team please contact Team Leader, Barbara Brunzell at

Montachusett Suicide Prevention Task Force

Coalition Meetings
Meetings are held the first Monday of each month, at Heywood Hospital, in Board Room (adjacent to Gift Shop), from 10:00 am - 11:30 am.

Newton Cares: Coalition for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health

Coalition Meetings
Location: Newton Senior Center, 345 Walnut Street, Newtonville, MA 
For more information about meetings, events and membership contact
Question, Persuade, Refer 
Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) is an evidence-based, suicide prevention program for anyone. It is a simple technique that offers everyone strategies and approaches to responding to someone experiencing distress. Attendees learn what to do, what to say, and how to get help. The more people who know how to act, the more lives may be saved. Please consider hosting a QPR training for your group. Newton Cares, the city's suicide prevention and mental health coalition, will provide the trainers & all of the necessary materials. To schedule a training for your group, call 617-796-1420 or email us at
Northeast Suicide Prevention Coalition

General Membership Meeting
For more information about meetings, events and membership contact Debbie Helms at  or 978-327-6671  

Pioneer Valley Coalition for Suicide Prevention
General Membership Meeting 
Meets the 3rd Thursday of every month. 
Contact Robert Reardon at  for time and place.

Plymouth County Suicide Prevention Coalition
General Membership Meeting
For more information about meetings, events and membership contact

Samaritans of Merrimack Valley  

Safe Place Groups                                                         
Adult Groups (18 years of age and older)
The Samaritans of Merrimack Valley runs support groups for survivors of suicide called Safe Place. Safe Place is a support group for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. It is a safe place to talk, listen, cry, be silent, grieve, be accepted, be understood, and offer acceptance and understanding to someone else in need. Safe Place is a confidential and free support group led by a trained suicide survivor. There are currently two Safe Place locations in Merrimack Valley. Each location has resource packets, a memory board as well as a lending library with books and other materials for support in your grieving. 

North Andover 
St. Michael Parish, 196 Main Street, North Andover, MA 01845
Meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of every month from 7:00pm to 8:30pm

St. John's Episcopal Church, 705 Hale Street, Beverly, MA 01915
Meets the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of every month from 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Samaritans on Cape Cod & The Islands

Hyannis Waves of Wellness, A Recovery Connection Center
A peer run organization dedicated to providing support, education and advocacy by providing opportunities and resources to assist individuals in finding their own path to mental health recovery. For more information, click here to view the brochure.  

Safe Place Group for Suicide Loss Survivors
6-session group
Participants must register and agree to attend all 6 sessions.
When: Tuesdays beginning September 4th from 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Where: Sandwich, MA
For more information or to register, contact us at 508-548-7999 or

Safe Place Groups
Samaritans Safe Place support groups that honor and respect the needs of those who have lost someone to suicide. Group meeting dates and times are:

Meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month from 7:00pm to 8:30pm at the Eldredge Public Library, 564 Main Street, Chatham, MA 

Samaritans, Inc.

Safe Place Groups
Samaritans Safe Place support groups are open to anyone who has experienced a loss from suicide. Registration is not required and groups are led by trained volunteers who are survivors. Group meeting dates and times are:     

Meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month from 7:00pm to 8:30pm at the Samaritans office located at 41 West Street, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02111

Meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month from 7:00pm to 8:30pm at the South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) located at 7 Bishop Street, Framingham, MA 01701

Meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month from 7:30pm to 9:30pm at Grace Episcopal Church, 160 High Street, 2nd Floor, Medford Square, Route 60, Medford, MA 02155

Meets on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month from 7:00pm - 8:30pm at Riverside Trauma Center, 255 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA 02494

South Shore
Meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month from 7:30pm to 9:00pm at Christ Church Quincy located at 12 Quincy Avenue, Quincy, MA 02169

Meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month from 7:00pm to 8:30pm at The Bridge, 4 Mann Street, Worcester, MA 01602

Southwest Boston Senior Services, Inc. d/b/a Ethos, Inc.

Healthy IDEAS
Ethos will expand its existing home-based Elder Depression Awareness, Screening & Management Initiative which utilizes the evidence-based Healthy IDEAS (Identifying Depression, Empowering Activities for Seniors) intervention, for older adults (persons 60+) who live anywhere in the city of Boston. In addition, Ethos, Inc. will provide depression education and materials on identifying depressive symptoms, including resources available to professional organizations and caregivers with a focus on people who are socially isolated and the LGBT community. Ethos' suicide prevention services will be provided in the Boston EOHHS region.
Contact: Claribette E. Del Rosario, Healthy IDEAS Program Coordinator: (617) 477-6644

Tapestry Health

Alternatives to Suicide Peer Support Groups
Alternatives to Suicide Peer Support Groups exist because the opportunity to talk about feelings of hopelessness to empathetic ears can decrease the inclination to act on suicidal feelings. The Western Mass Recovery Learning Center's (RLC) Alternatives to Suicide Peer Support Groups provide a forum wherein people who feel or have felt suicidal can talk about their experiences without being judged. People in these groups share their struggles and successes, provide support for one another, and strategize about alternatives to help each other best cope with difficult life circumstances.
  • Monday 6:30pm to 8:00pm, Quaker Meeting House, 43 Center Street, Northampton, MA (Sarah or Sean, 413-539-5941 ext.318)
  • Monday (except holidays) 3:00 pm to 4:30pm, Morse Institute Library, 14 E Central St, Natick, MA Greg @ or 508-745-6677.
  • Tuesday 5:00pm to 6:30pm, RLC Greenfield Center, 74 Federal Street, Greenfield, MA ( or 413-561-3268)
  • Friday 3:30pm to 5:00pm, The Bowen Center, 340 Main Street, Springfield, MA ( or 413-539-5941 ext.317)
  • Wednesday 6:30pm to 8:00pm, RLC's Pittsfield Center, 152 North Street, Suite 230, Pittsfield, MA
  • Thursday 6:30pm - 8:00pm, Public Storage Building in Assembly Square (Orange Line), 50 Middlesex Avenue, Somerville, MA

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  • Assessment with Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities, 4 CEUs
  • Care Management Practice, 2 CEUs
  • Care Transitions, 4 CEUs
  • Common Sense Management for Caring Organizations, 3.5 CEUs
  • Compulsive Hoarding in Older Adults, 4 CEUs
  • Core Issues in Aging and Disability, 5 CEUs
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  • Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation, 4 CEUs
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  • Participant Direction in Managed Long-Term Services and Supports, 2 CEUs
  • Substance Use among Older Adults, 4 CEUs
  • Suicide Prevention among Older Adults, 4 CEUs
  • Suicide Prevention among Older Immigrants and Refugee Populations, 2 CEUS
  • Supervision for Effective Practice with Older Adults, 4 CEUs
  • Working with Informal Caregivers, 4 CEUs
  • Understanding Consumer Control, Person-Centered Planning, and Self-Direction, 3 CEUs
Certificate Programs Courses
  • Foundation in Aging & Disabilities Certificate Program
  • ADRC/Options Counseling Certificate Program
  • Care Management & Care Coordination Certificate Program
  • Behavioral Health Certificate Program
  • Values and Ethics in Aging & Disabilities Certificate Program
  • Supervision & Leadership Certificate Program
Additional information about the online courses and certificate programs can be found on the CADER website:

Other Organizations         

19th Annual Youth at Risk Conference - SAVE THE DATE
The 19th annual Youth at Risk conference will be held on Friday, May 31, 2019 at Salem State University's O'Keefe Athletic Complex. Registration will open April 2019.

2016 NVDRS Data Now Available in WISQARS
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently updated its Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) to include 2016 data from the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS).

City of Newton Health & Human Services

Free Narcan Training and Distribution Program
Narcan - the overdose reversal medication - is now available at no cost to Newton residents through a new program launched this week by the city's Health and Human Services Department. Trained HHS staff members offer free naloxone (Narcan) to Newton residents who complete a brief (30-minute) individual training session on how to recognize an overdose and administer the reversal medication. The program is supported by a generous Narcan donation from Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

The program's primary goals are to reduce overdoses among Newton residents by reducing barriers to accessing Narcan, and to increase awareness about addiction recovery resources for individuals and families.

"Narcan saves lives," said Deborah Youngblood, Commissioner of Health and Human Services. "It's critical that people who are struggling with addiction have others around them who are equipped to revive them, if necessary. We're also hoping to get people connected to recovery resources that will guide them through long-term recovery."
Newton residents can participate in the program by calling the HHS Department at (617) 796-1420 and requesting an appointment with a social services staff member. The approximately 30-minute confidential consultation will include individual training in the signs and symptoms of an overdose, how to use naloxone, and an opportunity to learn more about recovery resources. Then, a bag including naloxone, a CPR mask and gloves, and printed resources will be offered at no charge. No insurance information will be collected.
Click here for more information


Community Health Center of Cape Cod Offering Addictions Services in Mashpee, Falmouth and Bourne
Community Health Center of Cape Cod  continues to do its part to combat Cape Cod's opioid crisis by offering addictions services to the community in Mashpee, Falmouth and Bourne. Currently, CHC  is serving individuals in three addictions programs. These programs are wide-ranging, accessible to all and align with CHC's mission to improve the health of the community through the provision of comprehensive, high quality, compassionate health care to all, regardless of ability to pay.
Step Forward is an outpatient treatment group based on the stages of change in recovery and is designed to help people who are in the pre-contemplative or contemplative stage. The goal of the group is to help patients move from beginning stages of change in recovery to goal setting and action to change. Step Forward is offered Tuesdays through Thursdays in the Mashpee office.
CHC also offers a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program for substance use disorder using Suboxone or Vivitrol. During weekly visits with a combination of certified physicians, registered nurses, behavioral health clinicians and support staff, CHC assists individuals with recovery, supporting them both physically and emotionally. MAT is offered as needed in Mashpee, Falmouth and Bourne.
The Structured Outpatient Addictions Program (SOAP) strengthens attendees' integration with behavioral health services and expands its scope beyond substance abuse to include a more complete continuum of addiction services. This program is for people who are just leaving detox or are in need of more support than the once-weekly Early Recovery Group can offer. SOAP is a 1-2 week program offered in the Mashpee office. It not only focuses on substance use but also addresses the different areas in patients' lives, such as mental health, physical health, employment, social supports and housing.
For more on CHC's addictions services, please visit 
or call (508) 477-7090, ext. 3106.                                                                                                                                           
Dance in the Rain Peer to Peer Mental Health Center 
Dance in the Rain Peer to Peer Mental Health Center offers a place for those suffering with depression to come out of isolation and participate in peer engagement. 
  • A Women's Discussion Group | Thursdays 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM 
  • Freudian Sips is open daily in the mornings. Drop in and have a cup of coffee and some friendship.
Dance in the Rain offers its services completely free to the people that frequent its community room, and open art studio. We rely on support from gracious and understanding individuals as well as businesses who support resiliency in the face of mental illness. For more information or to donate to Dance in the Rain go to:

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Cape Cod
Meets every Wednesday from 7:00pm - 9:00pm at the Cape Cod Medical Center, 40 Quinlan Way, Hyannis. For more information contact Lois at (508) 681-8598 or Paul at (508) 221-5174 or

Duxbury FACTS (Families, Adolescents and Community Together against Substances) 
Duxbury FACTS presents "Just the FACTS: an informational support group" every Monday from 7:00pm - 8:00pm at the Duxbury Senior Center "Walker Room," 10 Mayflower Street, Duxbury, MA. This group will address needs on a variety of levels from concern & worry, to revelation, addiction, crisis, resources, hope, and recovery. Whether you are a concerned parent, a student seeking answers, a family member dealing with a loved-one in crisis or an individual struggling with addiction, come to the group and get the FACTS. The group is led by an experienced facilitator and is open to the public. If you have questions, send an email to

EDC/SPRC/Action Alliance Job Opportunity: Senior Communications Specialist
SPRC has an opening for a full-time senior communications specialist. The person in this position will provide communications management and support to the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance). The position is located in Washington, D.C.

Free Group Support for Children/Families
Joanna's Place promotes resilience in children facing some of life's most stressful events. Maria Trozzi, the Executive Director of Joanna's Place, brings decades of expertise and experience as a trusted clinician, national expert and respected author helping families and school communities face stressful life events For parents and children 6-18 years they offer three separate local 8- week family support groups for children and adolescents, 6-18 years, each with its own focus on resilience: *Adolescents may participate without their parent/guardian 
  • Circle G: facing the loss of a parent or sibling, 
  • Circle S: facing the challenges of being a 'typical sibling'; 
  • Circle I: facing the challenges of a parent's life-challenging or chronic illness 
For information or to make a referral contact: or call 781-413-5141

Gosnold Family Support Groups
The Gosnold Reaching Out Program is a resource for family members and loved ones affected by addiction. It assists the family at all stages of addiction through education, intervention and support. Information and education forums help family members gain a basic understanding of the signs and symptoms of addiction, treatment options, and stages of recovery. An educated and supportive family has a positive impact on treatment outcomes.
  • Tuesday 6:00pm - 7:30pm
    Gosnold Counseling Center, 1185 Falmouth Road, Centerville, MA
  • Wednesday 6:00pm - 7:30pm
    Gus Canty Community Center, 790 Main Street, Falmouth, MA 
  • Sunday 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Scituate Senior Center, 27 Brook Street, Scituate, MA
  • Monday 6:00pm - 7:30pm
    Harwich Police Department, 183 Sisson Road, Harwich, MA  
For more information contact Lori McCarthy, 617-893-0816 or

Improving Care to Prevent Suicide among People with Serious Mental Illness
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (National Academies) have released Improving Care to Prevent Suicide among People with Serious Mental Illness. It details the proceedings of a workshop funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ( SAMHSA).

Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S)
2019 Rocky Mountain Research Training Institute: Research to Practice for Suicide Prevention                                        
Date: Wednesday, June 19 - Friday, June 21, 2019
Location: Denver, Colorado
Application Deadline: January 11, 2019 at 5:00pm MT*
The Research Training Institute (RTI) is a 2 ½ day series of interactive workshops, presentations, mentoring and small group sessions that will take place at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. The objectives of the RTI are to:
Encourage data-driven, evidence-based community practice with rigorous evaluation, with the goal of preventing suicide in the Rocky Mountain region;
Create collaborative, sustainable partnerships between practitioners and researchers/evaluators so that the perspectives, knowledge, and skills of each inform the work of the other;
Provide both violence and injury prevention professionals and evaluators/researchers with a shared body of knowledge and skills in suicidology, public health and prevention, and relevant evaluation methodologies;
Develop plans for a local project related to suicide prevention that can be evaluated and, ideally, documented for replication in other communities.
Click here to read the full announcement

Integrating Suicide Prevention into the SBIRT Model
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation ( Hilton Foundation) is sponsoring a webinar on integrating suicide prevention into the Adolescent Screening, Brief Intervention, & Referral to Treatment Model ( SBIRT). The webinar will take place on January 24 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. ET. Register today.

Joint Commission Issues National Patient Safety Goal Requirements
requirements  to improve the quality and safety of suicide care in health care settings. It has also released a  selection of resources to support their implementation, which includes the   Zero Suicide Toolkit and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention's ( Action Alliance ) recommended standard care report . The new requirements will be effective July 1, 2019 and will apply to all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and behavioral health care organizations.

Learn to Cope
Learn to Cope is a support group for parents, family members, spouses, and caregivers who have a family member who is addicted to opiates, alcohol, or other drugs. Learn to Cope offers experienced facilitators, resources, informational material, guest speakers (in long term recovery or professionals in the field), overdose education, and Narcan enrollment at all weekly meetings. Meeting schedule: Tuesdays from 7:00pm - 8:30pm at the Yarmouth Police Station, One Brad Erickson Way, Yarmouth, MA. For more information, call 508-738-5148 or visit

Massachusetts Public Health Association - Nominate a Health Equity Champion
Get ready to celebrate Massachusetts health equity champions! MPHA is excited to announce that our Spring Awards breakfast will take place on June 7, 2019 at the State Room, 60 State Street, in Boston.
Who inspires you? Who has worked tirelessly for health equity? It's time to honor those who have made a lasting impact on public health in Massachusetts. Please nominate your champion before January 22.
There are five award categories. You can learn more about the award categories and submit your nominations at the link below. Please nominate any person, people, or organization whose commitment to public health inspires and excites you.
Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline
Services are available Monday through Friday from 8:00am - 10:00pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am - 5:00pm. Language interpreters are always available. For online service and more information click here.

Niteo Program
The Niteo Program assists students living with serious mental health challenges to develop the health, resiliency skills, and support they need to reengage successfully at college and complete higher education. Students work with college coaches who provide intensive coordination and planning to assist students in returning to college, focusing on cognitive remediation, mindfulness, stress-hardiness, wellness, management, social connectedness, and academic skills.
What Niteo Provides: One Semester (September - December or January - April) of individualized mental health coaching and two days of classes per week. One additional semester of follow-along services to ensure successful school reentry and coordination of on-campus services. Individualized, intensive coaching and assistance to aid students with the integration of necessary treatment and academic resources.
The Niteo Program is located at Boston University and is a nonresidential program open to any student on leave from college or graduate school. To apply, complete a Student Application, which includes a Medical & Psychiatric Information Form, then fax or email to Courtney Joly-Lowdermilk at 617-353-7700 or

North Shore Center for Hoarding and Cluttering De-Cluttering Group
Are your possessions taking over your home?
Is clutter affecting you at home, work, or in your relationships?
Does clutter create safety issues in your home?
Are you embarrassed or ashamed to have people in your home?
If you can answer "YES" to any of these questions, there is help and support for you!
Register for the North Shore Center for Hoarding & Cluttering's De-Clutterer's Group. 10-week groups beginning the last week of January. 
Session 1: Wednesdays, starting 1/30 from 10:00am - 11:30am
Session 2: Thursdays, starting 1/31 from 10:00am - 11:30am
Sessions are held at the offices of North Shorre Elder Services, 300 Rosewood Drive, Suite 200, Danvers, MA
There are no age or geographic restrictions for group membership. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Eileen Dacey, LCSW, 978-624-2207 or  

Parents Supporting Parents
Parents Supporting Parents is a group of people who have come together as parents and family members coping and dealing with children/loved one's addiction. Their mission is to support, strengthen and educate one another as they share their lives. Their goal is to help their loved ones find and live in recovery, and for all members to live a healthy lifestyle. Meeting schedule: Mondays from 6:30pm -8:30pm at the Mashpee Chamber of Commerce, 5 Bates Road, Mashpee, MA. To learn more about Parents Supporting Parents, visit their Facebook page.

SAMHSA Awards Campus Suicide Prevention Funding
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded suicide prevention funding to 19 U.S. colleges and universities. Funding comes from the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention grant program.

Social Work Therapy Referral Service
The Social Work Therapy Referral Service is a free, confidential telephone referral service and therapist finder in Massachusetts. We provide professional, personalized counseling referrals matched for location, specialty and insurance or fee requirements.
We'll help you find a skilled individual, family, or group therapist in Massachusetts--and we'll continue to work with you until you find the right match. We take the guesswork out of finding a therapist in MA!
For more information,  click here

SPRC Launches Updated and Redesigned CALM Course
SPRC is pleased to release an updated and redesigned version of our most popular online course,  Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM). This free, self-paced course is designed to help mental health professionals identify clients who could benefit from lethal means counseling and work with them--and their families--to reduce access. The new version of the course features a variety of real-world case studies, as well as a mobile-friendly design for easy, on-the-go access!

Substance Use Drop-In Night
Substance Use Drop-In Night provides one-on-one substance use information, education and treatment resources options from local organizations. 
Date: First Tuesday of every month from 4:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: Mashpee Public Library Event Room, 64 Steeple Street 
Free Narcan training and light refreshments. More information at

Suicide Prevention in the Fire Service 
The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is hosting a presentation on firefighter suicide. It will cover suicide prevention strategies, evidence-based treatments, and IAFF efforts to understand and address suicide. Watch the presentation live on January 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. ET.

Suicide Prevention Enabled by Data Science
Date: Thursday, January 24, 2019 from 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
Dr. Colin G. Walsh will present preventive strategies that integrate clinical data science, informatics, and mental health expertise in an attempt to prevent suicidal thoughts and behaviors. He will explain basic concepts in applied predictive modeling relevant to an audience interested in disease prevention. He will share examples of active research and operational efforts in this domain in civilian and active duty military environments.
About Colin G. Walsh
Dr. Walsh is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Medicine, and Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is a practicing internist. He received a degree in mechanical engineering from Princeton University and his medical degree at The University of Chicago where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He completed residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. He received a degree in biomedical informatics in postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University. He joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University in 2015.
Dr. Walsh's research includes: (1) machine learning in behavioral health, including suicide prevention and psychiatric phenotyping; (2) clinical decision support to enable prevention; (3) predictive modeling using electronic health record (EHR) data; and (4) evaluation of value-based care through data science. His published research has been featured in Newsweek, Wired, Quartz, NBC News, ACM Tech News, Reuters, and more

Suicide Reporting Recommendations: Media as Partners in Suicide Prevention
The American Association of Suicidology ( AAS) has released Suicide Reporting Recommendations: Media as Partners in Suicide Prevention. It includes updated, evidence-based recommendations for journalists and media organizations that report on suicide and prevention efforts.

Umatter Suicide Prevention for Public Health Professionals Webinar
Date: January 31, 2019 from 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
When a suicide occurs it affects an entire community. Umatter Suicide Prevention educates professionals that work within communities about effective suicide prevention. With the goal of averting crisis, the webinar provides an introduction to Suicide Gatekeeper training which includes: (1) basic information about suicide, (2) language to be used when discussing suicide, (3) protective factors, risk factors, and warning signs, and (4) the Umatter three-step process for responding to suicidal behavior. Resources, additional training, and next steps for building a suicide prevention-prepared community will be identified.

Thank you for reading. Be on the lookout for the February 2019 email. 

Brandy Brooks
Massachusetts Department of Public Health