Promoting Positive Mental Health in Our Community

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It's always time to raise awareness, strengthen the dialogue and remind individuals, friends and families about resources that are available to help prevent suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates increased 33 percent between 1999 and 2019, with a small decline in 2019. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and is the second leading cause of death for individuals ages 10-34.

Suicide is preventable and can affect anyone regardless of race, skin color, age, economic or social status. Services are provided throughout Fairfax County and include community-focused workshops, campaigns to raise awareness about mental health and evidence-based suicide prevention and mental health trainings for all residents. The Suicide Prevention Alliance of Northern Virginia (SPAN) provides information and opportunities for all residents to raise awareness and share resources to prevent suicide.

Prevent Suicide—Learn the Warning Signs and How You Can Help Prevent Suicide

The causes of suicide are complex and determined by multiple factors including, painful losses, feelings of hopelessness, mental illness, substance use, and exposure to violence, trauma, and social isolation The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicate that the warning signs below may mean someone is at risk for suicide:

  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or unbearable pain.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated, behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

Out of Darkness Walk Oct. 2

Mental Health First Aid Training

Asking a person if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal ideation. Learn how to identify, talk to, and support someone who may be experiencing these warning signs by becoming a mental health first aider and a suicide prevention gatekeeper with the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board. Sign up for Mental Health First and Question, Persuade Refer (QPR) trainings.


Need Help? Resources are Available

If you or someone you care about may be at risk of suicide, don't hesitate to reach out for help right away. These resources are available 24/7:

You can also come directly to the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board’s Emergency ServicesMerrifield Center:

  • 8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive Fairfax, Virginia (24 hours)
  • 703-573-5679 (TTY 711)

mental health matters graphic with phone number provided in article


Fairfax County Public Schools Resources

Every school in FCPS has at least one school counselor, psychologist, and social worker. Contact your school if you would like to discuss concerns related to your child.


Mental Health and Wellness Conference

The 8th Annual FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference and Inova Act on Addiction presents Strategies for Today and Beyond. The virtual conference will be Sept. 27-Oct. 1. The conference, moderated by Jummy Olabanji, NBC4, will feature keynote speakers who will focus on emotional learning and resiliency. On Tuesday, Sept. 28, keynote speaker, Dr. Dan Siegel will present "The Resilient Brain: Cultivating Courage & Curiosity to Expand a Child’s Capacity to Build Inner Strength." Dr. Stacey Hardy-Chandler will discuss how to embrace our strengths as a means of coping during uncertain times.

Our Minds Matter, a non-profit student led organization, will host a student session on Sept. 28. Students learn how to use journaling as a method to support their mental health and well-being.


Fairfax County Public Schools Webinars

Fairfax County Public Schools offers webinars throughout the school year on a variety of topics to help parents promote positive mental health in children and adolescents. Registration for webinars opens one month before each webinar. Sign up for our News You Choose newsletter to get an email when registration opens. Registrants will be provided a link by email on the morning of the webinar.

For more information and resources, please visit the FCPS Parent Resource Center .

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