A message from CEO Sherry Thomas‑Cloud
It’s September, which means our Pack-a-Child-for-Camp summer program has come to an end and our Link Social-Emotional Learning program is starting its Fall semester. I’m happy to report that we were able to send 75 children to area camps this summer – through generous donations from many of you. Thank you!
Meanwhile, Link is helping youth ages 6-17 who have a mental health diagnosis or a developmental disability gain the skills they need to be successful at school, at home, and in the community.
September is important to us and our clients for another very important reason: This is National Suicide Prevention Month. Through our Mobile Crisis Response and Crisis Residential and Respite programs we encounter too many children who are contemplating suicide. For this reason, we are devoting our entire Fall 2018 newsletter to the topic of suicide.
Let me say this first:
- If you or someone you know under age 18 (in Kalamazoo County) is having suicidal thoughts, please call (888) 373-6200. This will connect you with Mobile Crisis Response, Family & Children Services’ 24/7 crisis response team.
- If you or an adult you know over age 18 (in Allegan, Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, and Van Buren counties) is having suicidal thoughts, please call (269) 381-4357, the 24-hour HELP-Line at Gryphon Place.
- Anyone of any age (in Calhoun County) in a suicidal crisis may call (800) 632-5449 to reach the 24-hour Summit Pointe Crisis Hotline.
- Anyone of any age may also call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or text HOME to 741741, Crisis Text Line.
Whichever number you call, please know that compassionate and skilled professionals will answer your call, help you through your crisis, and get you the help you need.
The following articles will help all of us understand the growing toll that suicide is taking on our communities, as well as what our agency, other local organizations, and each of us can do individually to reduce this toll this month and throughout the year.
Sherry Thomas-Cloud, M.S.W., L.M.S.W.
Chief Executive Officer
Family & Children Services