The Schuylkill County Commissioners, the Suicide Prevention Task Force of Schuylkill County, and the Schuylkill County Drug and Alcohol Program would like to recognize the month of September as Suicide Prevention Awareness month, and National Recovery Month.

In an effort to bring awareness to both Suicide Prevention and Recovery, the Schuylkill County Courthouse will be illuminated with purple light for the entire month of September. Our hope is that this light will be a reminder to our community that there is always hope even in the darkest of times.

National Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month are national observances held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is a time to raise awareness on this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic. In addition to shifting public perception, we use this month to spread hope and vital information to people affected by suicide. Our goal is to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help. (http://nami.org)

During the month of September, the Suicide Prevention Task Force, and the Schuylkill County Drug and Alcohol program will bring awareness to Suicide Prevention and Recovery. Banners will be hanging in front of both the Schuylkill County Courthouse at 401 N. 2nd St. and the Human Services building at 410 N. Centre Street, both in Pottsville, for the month of September.

Coasters and posters will be distributed throughout the county with information on how to recognize the signs of suicide as well as the contact number for the National Lifeline. Billboards, local newsletters, and local guides will also have this information. In addition, two local STS vans will be “wrapped” with messaging to help people understand that anyone can struggle with suicide.

Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate health improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma and heart disease. This observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health; prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. (http://naadac.org)

In support of Recovery Month, the Schuylkill Walk for Recovery will be held on Saturday, October 9th, at Island Park in Schuylkill Haven. Registration begins at 10:00AM and the walk begins at 11:00AM. For event details or to pre-register to reserve a free T-shirt, visit schuylkillreach.org.

For more information, members of the community can contact Grace Coffin (570-628-1759) at the Suicide Prevention Task Force, or Diane Rowland (570-628-1794) at the Schuylkill County Drug and Alcohol program.