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NH Observes Suicide Prevention Week

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In a proclamation about suicide prevention, Gov. Chris Sununu included legislative accomplishments this year, from suicide education in schools to help for first responders affected by PTSD. (New Hampshire Governor's Forum/Wikimedia)
In a proclamation about suicide prevention, Gov. Chris Sununu included legislative accomplishments this year, from suicide education in schools to help for first responders affected by PTSD. (New Hampshire Governor's Forum/Wikimedia)
September 11, 2020

CONCORD, N.H. -- Gov. Chris Sununu signed a proclamation on Thursday in honor of New Hampshire Suicide Prevention Week. The New Hampshire Suicide Prevention Council hosted a virtual news conference, where the governor and suicide-prevention leaders shared progress toward improving community mental health in the Granite State.

In the proclamation, Sununu noted legislative accomplishments such as establishing a statewide mobile response for children in mental-health crises and updates to the state's mental-health plan.

"We have a new 10-Year Mental Health Plan, and there is a report on where we are with that 10-Year Mental Health Plan, and that's actually in review now," he said. "It'll be released early next week to talk about a lot of our successes, but also some of our challenges."

The New Hampshire 10-Year Mental Health Plan began in January 2019. Among other priorities, it aims to increase suicide-prevention services, including community-based treatment and decreasing wait times for psychiatric hospitals.

Todd Donovan, a first responder, said he has lived with mental illness most of his life, and tried taking his own life multiple times. Six years ago, Donovan said, he finally found a treatment that worked -- after 11 different medications.

"I'm living proof that treatment works," he said. "I was a hopeless case, labeled as 'treatment resistant.' But I didn't quit. I found a treatment that works. And I really want to encourage anyone out there that if you are suffering, it is my hope that you reach out and get the help that you deserve."

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, you can call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK, or text the word "Connect" to reach the Crisis Text Line.

The 2019 10-Year Plan is online at dhhs.nh.gov.

Laura Rosbrow-Telem, Public News Service - NH