BCSP Strategic Plan - 2018

The Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention (BCSP) was established as a regional coalition of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention (MCSP) in 2009 with a mission of reducing self-harm and suicides with financial support from the MA Dept of Public Health.  Our regional efforts are structured according to the Massachusetts Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention as outlined in the Statewide Annual Evaluation Summary. This framework emphasizes five interactive levels from an individual, widening through interpersonal relationships, community, institutions, and then into the society in which we live. We recognize that activity must take place in each of the five levels, and that efforts should impact various populations at increased risk and throughout the lifespan. The coalition has invested time and resources to secure collaborations with many organizations throughout our region, particularly those with overlapping and complementary missions. This strategy builds on the assumption that “with a variety of stakeholders acting together in a concerted effort, there is an increased likelihood of success.”

1.      INDIVIDUAL: Promote the well-being, safety, and resiliency of individuals who may be at higher risk of suicide, and those whose lives have been touched by suicide…

1.1.   Education, Self-Awareness & Help seeking:  

  • BerkshireCoalition.org website expenses/promotion of events and resources

  • Resource tables at neighborhood, elder and school health fairs & Out of Darkness Walk

  • Resource wallet cards & wristbands with crisis text line distributed to youth via school adjustment counselors and gatekeepers includes fee to Crisis Text Line team

1.2.   Provider Education & Resource Identification:  

  • Partner with Berkshire Medical Center (BMC) on Annual Suicide Prevention Conference

1.3.   Direct Service Provision:

  • Ongoing peer support group & email notices for survivors of suicide loss

  • Distribution of support group brochures & outreach resource packets

1.4.   Skill Building & Support for Individuals at Risk: 

  • Promotion of MassMen.org & ManTherapy.org as tools to assist men in navigating resources

  • LGBTQAI+ Annual Community Forum at Berkshire Community College (BCC) to celebrate diversity across the lifespan

  • Partner with local Recovery Learning Community (RLC) to support suicide attempt survivors

  • Partner with Berkshire Children and Families (BCF)’s Family Resource Center for LGBT Youth Safe Spaces and peer social group

  • Partner with Multicultural BRIDGE for events/films supporting diversity & mental health

2.      INTERPERSONAL: Support & educate people to cultivate helping relationships and address suicide risks with awareness and sensitivity…

2.1.  Best Practices in Screening & Service Provision: 

  • Promotion of BerkshireCares.org to provide online access to mental health education, a variety of screenings, and local treatment options

  • Partner w/ BMC and BCC on Depression Screening events

2.2.  Crisis Response Protocol Implementation:  

  • Partner with Brien Center Crisis Team and with State Police/District Attorney Office to establish postvention protocol for survivors of traumatic loss and suicide loss, Partner with schools for postvention outreach to youth impacted by a suicide

2.3.  Sustainable Provision of Integrated Care:  

  • Partner with mental health treatment options on role of primary care in screening for Gun Safety

2.4.  Evidenced-based Suicide Prevention Training Programs:  

  • Host CONNECT, ASIST, SafeTALK, QPR, Psychological and Mental Health First Aid Trainings, as well as getting some new Trainers trained in Berkshire County

3.     COMMUNITY & COALITIONS: Create collaborations and foster networks to achieve broad impact through common goals in suicide prevention…

3.1.  Statewide & Regional Coalitions:

  • Attendance at MCSP executive meetings, MCSP Regional Workshop, statewide Kickoff event & State House Day, Scholarships for Annual DPH Suicide Prevention Conference, maintain post office box, purchase office & computer supplies.

3.2.  Community Suicide Prevention Education & Training: 

  • “Champion for Suicide Prevention” Award Breakfast w/public program and various Public Education Forums/Films

3.3.  Interagency Collaborations for Prevention & Advocacy Service:

  • Collaborate with 8 local organizations on an EXPO of Resources for veterans, National Guard, active military, their families & providers including mental healthcare and suicide prevention

  • Multi-agency collaboration for legislature involving mental health & suicide prevention at the Annual Berkshire County Legislative Breakfast

  • Join BC Age-Friendly Vision 2020 Task Force to promote elder suicide prevention within target goal of “Community Support & Health Services”

  • Partner with TAY (Transitional Aged Youth) Committee and BCF’s Family Resource Center to support a Youth Leadership Program

3.4.  Countywide Data Collection:  

  • Demographics of 2014, 2015 suicides investigated by Berkshire County DA’s office, evaluated by BMC Dept of Psychiatry, to be provided to MA Dept. of Public Health (in process)

Implement policies, initiatives, and programs in support of suicide prevention…

4.1.  Integration of Physical & Mental Health Care:  

  • Promote depression screening by Primary Care and continuum of care

4.2.   Integration of Suicide Prevention into Existing Programs, Policies, and Curricula:  

  • Support gun safety protocol, Review of Safe Messaging for local newspaper reporters,

  • Support implementation of student education using Lifelines, Signs of Suicide, Break Free from Depression as well as state mandated education (DESE recommendations) for licensed educators

5.      SOCIAL STRUCTURE & SYSTEMS: Reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with suicide, and promote healthy and help-seeking behaviors in society with supportive policy, regulation, and law…

5.1.   Statewide Suicide Prevention Advocacy: 

  • AFSP/SPAN Youth Advocacy Training with visits to Legislators on State House Day;

  • Advocacy alerts & letter writing campaign for suicide prevention legislation and line-item funding in state budget as well as for mental health funding line-items; promote MCSP state membership in order to provide a state legislative advocate

5.2.   Stigma Reduction:

  • Survivor attendance at Out of the Darkness Community Walk and Survivor Day, newspaper & radio coverage of trainings, local fundraisers , and mental health awareness events including Brien Center promotions and NAMI “Minds Matter” Walk at Pittsfield Third Thursday Street Festival, First Annual Out of the Darkness Campus Walk at Berkshire Community College