STATEMENT OF NEED

Suicide and suicide attempts are problems throughout Georgia. The Suicide Prevention Program has had a coalition building initiative since the beginning of the program so that local citizens could develop suicide prevention programs that were relevant to their communities. Suicide prevention coalitions form the infrastructure for supporting a variety of suicide prevention services throughout Georgia. Originally focused on developing coalitions within public health districts, the coalition building initiative has moved to supporting coalitions within communities and smaller regions in order to better focus services and involve citizens.

There is a need to have an organizing body for this local suicide prevention coalition in order to develop and sustain the coalition. As the coalition will have many potential stakeholders, such as mental health professionals, school personnel, professionals who work with the aging population and family members who have survived a suicide loss, our organization will need to do outreach into the community to be as inclusive as possible. There is a need for ongoing awareness activities to reduce the stigma of getting help for people at risk of suicide. And, in order to have the work be ongoing, there is a need for coalition meetings at the local level to plan and support activities. Lastly, there is a need for ongoing contact with the Suicide Prevention Program to assure that statewide services



ORGANIZATION CAPACITY

The Oconee Prevention Resource Council is a grass roots effort begun in 1988 by a group of concerned citizens. In their desire to stop the tide of illegal drugs coming into the community, they gathered together to decide how they could best approach the root cause. As they explored, they soon realized that substance abuse/use is also the base of many other societal ills – academic failure/drop outs, teen pregnancy, increased HIV/Aids and STD’s, gang formation, violence and the growing awareness that suicide was also closely related to that root cause. Initially begun in Baldwin County, the OPRC has expanded to the other 5 surrounding counties in the Oconee Region. Prevention programming for under-resourced, under-served children, youth and families is present in all 6 counties as well as representation on all community coalitions within those communities. Following an active presence within the Macon Suicide Prevention Coalition, the need and desire to have resources for Suicide prevention and Survivors of Suicide groups became increasingly important. The structure of the OPRC enables information and programming to be quickly disseminated to the other counties which make for a very viable presence.

PROJECT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

1.Bring stakeholders together to support the Georgia Suicide Prevention Plan.
2.Develop interventions to bring awareness of suicide and suicide prevention to local communities.
3.Develop suicide prevention activities for people at risk and their families.