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Suicide Prevention Coalition of Portage County Awarded Public Awareness Grant

The Portage County Suicide Prevention Coalition was awarded a grant from the Ohio Center for Excellence for Behavioral Health Prevention and Promotion to connect residents to mental, emotional, and behavioral health resources, and to advance public awareness.

The awards are part of $1M in grant awards to 22 community-based coalitions across Ohio to support statewide prevention and promotion efforts.

The Portage County Suicide Prevention Coalition is using the funds to promote the “Be Present” campaign which was developed by the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation and the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services. It provides tools for adolescents and young adults to help each other through mental health resources, information, and peer-to-peer support. There is also guidance for parents and caregivers.

“Our community has been under many stressors these past few years, especially our youth,” commented John Garrity, PhD, director of the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County. “This funding will give us an opportunity to share mental health information and to reach out to them with a message of hope.”

The Be Present campaign’s messages that let people know that “it’s ok to not be ok” and to be there for each other during the struggles of daily life can be seen locally in Portage County in local movie theatres, TV commercials, streaming digital services, and social media. The advertisements also feature the Portage County helpline number 330-678-HELP as well as letting people know they can call or text 988 if they need help.

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