County meeting focuses on suicide prevention

The Susquehanna County Courthouse was built in the Greek Revival style – one of the architectural styles prominent in the Montrose Historic District which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. STAFF PHOTO/STACI WILSON

The Susquehanna County Commissioners recognized September as Suicide Prevention Month at the Wednesday, Sept. 9 meeting.

Lackawanna-Susquehanna Counties Behavioral Health Intellectual Disabilities Early Intervention (BHIDEI) administrator Maryann Colbert said suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the country. But, she said, Susquehanna County is on the forefront of combatting that with its Suicide Awareness Initiative which provides public awareness and is a resource. “Hope and help is available,” Colbert said.

Additional activities to build awareness include the installation of a billboard on Route 706, just east of Montrose.

Colbert called attention to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number: 800-273-8255; or text 741741. The Susquehanna County Crisis line number is 570-278-6822; or dial 2-1-1.

On Friday, Sept. 18, the county will host Hope & Remembrance at 6 p.m., in the Williams Pavilion, Salt Springs Park, Franklin Twp. Colbert said speakers at the event would be sharing their experiences. The public is invited to attend this event.

The Williams Pavilion is an open-air structure. Limited seating is available. Feel free to bring your own chair to help with social distancing; and a face mask. Light refreshments will be served.

The Lackawanna-Susquehanna BHIDEI is also sponsoring virtual trainings this month, with one program aimed at behavioral health and intellectual disability providers; and the other targeted for family members and caregivers.

The family member/caregiver Zoom training, conducted by Matthew B. Wintersteen, PhD: Helping Youth Recognize Signs of Depression and the Warning Signs of Suicide will be held Sept. 29, 12:30-2 p.m. (Meeting ID: 317 994 0118; Passcode: 578523). There is no cost to participate in the trainings.

In other business, the commissioners approved the second round of small business assistance grants in the amount of $107,590.36. The funds are being administered by Trehab. The funding comes from the monies allocated to the county from the state and part of the CARES County Relief Fund.

The commissioners also approved $20,062.93 in CARES County Relief Grant payments to the Susquehanna Volunteer Fire Dept., in the amount of $17,787.93 and to the Great Bend-Hallstead Ambulance for $2,275.

The county had previously awarded CARES funding to several other emergency responder providers in the county.

The commissioners entered into an agreement with MCM Consulting Group for review and enhancement of the county’s Continuity of Operations Plan and the emergency operations plan, at a cost of $27,842, which will be paid for with the CARES grant funding, effective Sept. 9-Dec. 30.

The county is also offering up a list of surplus items, available for public examination from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. through Tuesday, Sept. 22 at noon, in the maintenance office at the courthouse.

Those interested are asked to contact 570-278-6670 for an appointment. Sealed bids for items must be received in the Chief Clerk’s office by Sept. 22 at noon. Bids will be opened at the Sept. 23 commissioners’ meeting. Successful bidders will be notified via telephone on Sept. 25 and must submit the payment and claim the item by Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 4 p.m.

In addition to proclaiming September as Suicide Prevention Month in the county, the commissioners also approved the following proclamations:

*Hunger Action Month

*Recovery Month

*Emergency Preparedness Month

*and Sept. 9 as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day.

The commissioners also recognized National Correctional Officer and Employees Week, which Commissioner Elizabeth Arnold explained was in May, but was recently brought to the commissioners’ attention.


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