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Boy Scouts Landscape MCES

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A few years ago, the Scouts of Troop 551, King of Prussia, lent their time and labor to making the front lawn of MCES look a lot better with some hardscaping and plantings.

Earlier this month, the young men of Troop 181 in Gladwyne took on an equally formidable task of making the patient courtyard bloom. The effort was an Eagle Scout Project of Jason Miazga, son of Maria Miazga, CRNP, of the MCES staff.

The Scouts trimmed the shrubs, cleaned out a lot of old growth, and put in a lot of plantings that take the institutional edge off that area. Patients enjoy visits to the courtyard as weather permits. Now those visits are even more pleasant. Best of all, the Scouts will be back in the fall to plant some seasonal annuals.

On behalf of our patients, we say thanks to both Troop 181 and Troop 551.

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Stress Management Workshop Held for First Responder Spouses

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Michelle Monzo, the MCES Crisis Intervention Education Specialist, recently joined John Becker, Sprout Health Group, and 70 spouses of police officers, fire fighters, and EMTs to talk about the stresses both emergency responders and their families face.

The workshop was the first of its kind to be held in Montgomery County. It was a direct outgrowth of the Emergency Responder Suicide Prevention Forum co-sponsored by MCES in May at the Public Safety Academy in Conshohocken. The workshop was also held on the Public Safety Department's Campus.

Among the topics discussed in the two-hour session were recognizing and responding to job-related stress in a spouse or partner, resolving stress-related issues in the house, resources available to help with workplace stress, and the signs of such serious concerns as depression, PTSD, and suicide risk.

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Railroad Suicide Prevention Effort Expands

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

There are now signs with the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine (800-273-TALK) at passenger stops and stations and on some railroad right-of-ways around the tri-state area.

First SEPTA put signs on all its regional and suburban rail lines. Then PATCO did the same in Camden County and elsewhere. Now AMTRAK is stepping up. By month's end, AMTRAK will have LifeLine signs in place at locations in Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties, in Trenton and Newark and Wilmington. AMTRAK is also placing the signs in several other states.

MCES is involved in the efforts and is a big supporter of the expansion. Since the signs went up in the metropolitan Philadelphia area, MCES has received many calls from people at the stations. Most of the callers were struggling with thoughts of suicide or ambivalent about taking their lives. The signs did their job and gave them a chance to reach out for help.

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Suicide Prevention Forum Draws 170

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

On May 10, the auditorium at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus was the setting for a day-long conference on suicide prevention for emergency responders.

In attendance were police officers from most departments in the county along with officers from Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia, and other counties. EMTs, fire fighters, probation officers, sheriffs and others concerned about suicide risk in the public safety professions also joined.

The forum was an outcome of an effort begun in late 2014 after the suicide of a police officer in Lower Providence Township and another in Radnor Township. MCES convened an ad hoc work group that included representatives from law enforcement, EMS, the fire service, and suicide prevention to look at the problem. It was determined that while most emergency responders had frequent contact with suicidal persons, many did not know about suicidality in their ranks.

MCES was tasked with developing suicide prevention information materials specifically for police officers, EMTs, paramedics, and fire fighters. With input from members of the work group, MCES issued "What First Responders Need to Know about Suicide." Supplies of the brochure were distributed to every police department in the county and copies were made available to police cadets and EMT trainees. Copies are also provided to all MCES Crisis Intervention Specialist trainees.

The work group plans to move beyond raising awareness about emergency responder suicide risk through educational materials and training and decided this could best be facilitated by bringing together representatives of the regional emergency responder community. The Forum was the result.

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Suicide Prevention