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In 2022, 53 local residents died by suicide. That’s an increase of 11 from 2021, according to data from the Virginia Department of Health.

The Rappahannock EMS Council will use their monthly COPES Stakeholders meeting on September 20, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. to focus on suicide prevention. Attendees will hear about local suicide data, the state strategic suicide prevention plan, risk and protective factors, local community resources, and supports available for service members, veterans, and their family members (SMVF).

To register for the COPE Stakeholder meeting on September 20, 2023: https://hopestarter-racsb.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8Qnv8e54QsmzPJgtcBo38Q

COPE stands for Community Outreach Patient Engagement. An outreach program of the Rappahannock Emergency Medical Services Council, it is a community-focused health and social wellness initiative.

To learn more about COPE and how you can get involved, please visit https://www.copewellnessva.org/

Presenters include:

  • Allison Balmes-John, Population Health Manager, Rappahannock Area Health District
  • Laura Robertson, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
  • Angela Jameson, Community Engagement and Partnerships Coordinator, Central Virginia VA Healthcare System
  • Michelle Wagaman, Prevention Director, Rappahannock Area Community Services Board

Community members who would like to participate in the formation of a local suicide prevention coalition are invited to attend an interest meeting on October 16, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. This meeting will be held at the RACSB at River Club location (10825 Tidewater Trail, Fredericksburg, VA 22408).

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