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Local Suicide Prevention Awareness and Education

According to a 2014 data, the suicide rate on Cape Cod is 1.4 times higher than other counties in Massachusetts. “In 2011, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and Massachusetts and the third leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults (ages 15-24).”  (Fact Sheet: Suicides Deaths Cape Cod and the Islands 2000 to 2011 July 2014 Updated)

A recently released TV series covered in an April 20, 2017 Cape Cod Times article has Cape Codders concerned about suicide and seeking more information on how to recognize suicide risk and how to talk to someone at risk.  According to the National Association for School Psychologists, “Research shows that exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of death, can be one of the many risk factors that youth struggling with mental health conditions cite as a reason they contemplate or attempt suicide.” Always take warning signs seriously, and never promise to keep them secret. 

Locally the Cape & Islands Suicide Prevention Coalition (CISPC) is responding to concerns with trainings and monthly membership meetings. Coalition Co-Chairs, Deb Martin of the Cape & Islands District Attorney’s Office and Sergeant Kevin A. Marshall of the Nantucket Police Department, urge parents/guardians to “be aware that their teen may be watching the show, watch this series with them, and discuss this difficult topic. Talk openly and honestly with them to understand if they have ever experienced these feelings and where they can go to for help. There is always someone who will listen.” Learn more.

Upcoming local events: 

  • Moving Beyond Stigma: Community Forum on Depression and Suicide: May 10, 2017, 6:30 PM, Harwich Community Center.
  • Men’s Suicide: Science-Based Guidance for Prevention Programs: May 11, 2017, from 11:15 AM – 12:45 PM, Harborview Conference Room, Barnstable County Complex.  Meetings open to the public.
  • Regional Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training for Law Enforcement:  May 8 – 12, 2017, Dennis Police Department. Learn more.
  • Additional workshops and free training opportunities can be found here.

Visit the Cape & Islands Suicide Prevention Coalition website for more information at

Additional resources:

  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text “START” to 741741
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness of Cape and Islands,
  • The Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands, Cape, 24 hours / 7 days, 508-548-8900 or 800-893-9900