Headquarters open house highlights suicide prevention events this month

photo by: Headquarters Counseling Center/Contributed Image

Headquarters Counseling Center will hold an open house event on World Suicide Prevention Day, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and some events around Lawrence are planned in its honor. Among them is a rare peek behind the scenes at Headquarters Counseling Center.

The 24/7 crisis center that operates in Lawrence — and takes calls from those in need of help throughout the state of Kansas — is opening its doors on World Suicide Prevention Day, which is Monday, Sept. 10.

The public is invited to come “see what goes on behind the scenes, enjoy sips and bites, and tour our office and crisis center,” said Director of Development Allan Bunch in an email to the Journal-World. From 4:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 10, the center, at 211 E. Eighth St., Suite C, will welcome visitors.

More information about the event can be found on the center’s Facebook page, facebook.com/HeadquartersCounselingCenter.

Words Save Lives 2018

Also that evening, the Lawrence Creates Makerspace will host Words Save Lives, featuring poetry, storytelling, drag, comedy and music, according to the Facebook event page.

“Performances are about creating and strengthening the sense of belonging and being valued for everyone at the event,” local social worker and suicide prevention activist Marcia Epstein wrote on the page.

That event will run from 6 to 10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10 at the makerspace, 512 E. Ninth St., and a $5 donation is appreciated.

Regular support groups

The Douglas County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness hosts support group meetings from 6 to 7:30 p.m. every Wednesday at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vermont St.; use the north entrance and a sign will point you to one of two groups.

The first is the Recovery Support Group, for those who are living with mental illness; the second is the Family Support Group, for family members of those living with mental illness.

NAMI Douglas County will devote its weekly meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 12, to experiences with suicide, including loss, thoughts, self-harm, attempts and supporting suicidal loved ones. The discussion will be led by Epstein and Robin Goff, RN. “Thriving While Living with Suicide” invites people to “add to your skills toolkit, and to experience community,” according to its Facebook event page.

Epstein hosts recurring support groups for adults in Lawrence, one on Monday evenings and one on Tuesday evenings, for those who have suicidal thoughts or self-harm and for survivors of suicide loss, respectively. She can be reached at M.Epstein.LMSW@gmail.com or 785-331-6440 for more information.

Get support right now

There are multiple options for help available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Headquarters runs a 24/7 hotline, which Kansas residents can reach directly at 785-841-2345. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). Headquarters also operates an online chat from 8 to 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays at headquarterscounselingcenter.org.

Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center can be reached at its 24/7 answering service at 785-843-9192.

The national Veterans Crisis Line is available at 1-800-273-8255; press 1.

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