Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition Engagement Session

The Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition’s session on March 2nd, 2023, shared with legislators how suicide prevention fits within the healthcare system.

The session featured speakers from the Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition in an effort to increase understanding of how suicide prevention works within our healthcare systems and across communities.

Suicide is a leading public health problem in Vermont. More Vermonters died by suicide in 2021 than in previous years, with an average of 2-3 residents lost to suicide every week, and 82% of those deaths occurred in rural communities. The number of Vermonters experiencing social isolation, economic stress, adverse health impacts, and mental health challenges are increasing. Your support is necessary to strengthen a cohesive system of suicide prevention and care throughout the state. Now is the time for prevention!

Speakers included Kathleen Kilbourne, Executive Director of The Center for Health and Learning; Kirk Postlewaite, Director of Vermont Suicide Prevention Center; Chris Allen, Suicide Prevention Director of the Department of Mental Health; Michael Hartman, Executive Director of Lamoille County Health Care Services; Becca Bell, M.D.-University of Vermont Medical Center, Ben Smith, M.D., UVM Central Vermont Medical Center, Thomas Moore, University of Vermont Medical Center/CACH, and Karen Carriera, a Center for Health and Learning Program Specialist and mental health professional closing the event by sharing a personal experience with the system of care.

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About Vermont Suicide Prevention Center

The Vermont Suicide Prevention Center is a program of the Center for Health and Learning created as a public-private partnership with the Agency of Human Services that serves as a state-wide resource fostering a sustainable approach to suicide prevention in Vermont.

About Center for Health and Learning

The Center For Health and Learning is a non-profit organization that catalyzes initiatives that inspire optimal health for all. CHL aims to build healthy communities through educational resources, leadership training, policy development, and technical assistance. CHL is focused on improving school and community health. CHL’s staff and consultants apply expertise in health and education to design training, develop resources, and conduct research and evaluation.