Some­thing to talk about

Lo­cal cam­paign started with Broad­way mu­si­cal

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By CHRIS POLK cpolk@star­dem.com

EAS­TON — It was the treat of get­ting to see a Broad­way mu­si­cal that ul­ti­mately led coun­selors and oth­ers to kick off a new sui­cide preven­tion ini­tia­tive this week.

The staff of For All Sea­sons, Inc. have be­gun a new cam­paign and sui­cide preven­tion push called “No Mat­ter What ... You Mat­ter.”

A crowd gath­ered Fri­day evening around the out­door ta­bles at the Bartlett Pear Inn to rally con­cerned cit­i­zens and kick off their ef­forts.

Re­cently, or­ga­niz­ers of the Mid-Shore’s Dock Street Foun­da­tion, Amy Haines and Richard Marks, saw the award-win­ning broad­way play, “Dear Evan Hansen” in New York City and were moved by the im­pact of the show, not­ing the in­flu­ence of so­cial me­dia on young peo­ple.

The play is a mu­si­cal that cen­ters around the sui­cide of a high school stu­dent.

Haines and Marks char­tered a bus and treated 40 rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Tal­bot’s ser vice agen­cies and ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions to a show­ing of the play.

Among them was Beth Anne Lan­grell of For All Sea­sons, Inc. Be­hav­ioral Health and Rape Cri­sis Cen­ter, who came away af­ter­wards de­ter­mined that her re­newed un­der­stand­ing and thoughts on the sub­ject of sui­cide should not fade away, but turn into an aware­ness cam­paign and com­mu­nity con­ver­sa­tion.

Has sui­cide be­come more preva­lent in Tal­bot County?

“Our numbers have not gone up lo­cally, but it has be­come more of an is­sue to talk about,” Lan­grell said. “Our ma­jor piece of the cam­paign is we want peo­ple to talk and know how to con­nect with re­sources.”

The sta­tis­tics are that ev­ery 13 min­utes some­one com­mits sui­cide, she said.

“The more stag­ger­ing one is that for ever y sui­cide com­pleted, there is 25 at­tempts,” she said. “So that’s the piece that we want peo­ple to un­der­stand. That there are a lot of at­tempts that aren’t suc­cess­ful.”

“Coming off of ‘Tal­bot Goes Pur­ple’ we want to talk about men­tal well­ness,” Lan­grell said, ref­er­enc­ing the re­cent Tal­bot cam­paign to in­crease aware­ness of opi­ate use.

She said that among peo­ple who be­come ad­dicted, “We are try­ing to get to heart of what re­ally gets peo­ple there. Through out­reach preven­tion and ed­u­ca­tion,” she said. “Make it so we are get­ting kids early and get­ting fam­i­lies early.”

Lan­grell said she has spo­ken and is plan­ning out­reach at churches, schools, civic or­ga­ni­za­tions. Lo­cal Ro­tary or­ga­ni­za­tions, Holy Trin­ity Church in Ox­ford and a group in Tu­nis Mills has been on her list.

There is also a 5K Run/ Walk in mem­ory of Christo­pher Bradley on Oc­to­ber 21 in Ox­ford that ben­e­fits a memo­rial fund in his name.

Bradley was an Eas­ton High School stu­dent who died in April 2017. The run/walk is spon­sored by his fam­ily and aims to help bring aware­ness of teens suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion.

Lan­grell said For All Sea­sons, Inc. works in school sys­tems in Caro­line, Queen Anne’s and Kent coun­ties. Tal­bot County has a dif­fer­ent provider, she said, but For All Sea­sons, Inc. has done cri­sis re­sponse there, too.

Other ser­vices the or­ga­ni­za­tion pro­vides are all types of ther­apy, psy­chi­atr y, coun­sel­ing, ur­gent care ser­vices, rape cri­sis re­sponse and coun­sel­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and out­reach pro­gram­ing.

They main­tain 24-hour English and Span­ish hot­lines. The English hot­line is 410-820-5600 or 1-800-3107273, and the Span­ish hot­line, para Es­panol, llame o texto 410-829-6143.

For All Sea­sons, Inc. has fa­cil­i­ties in Cam­bridge, Den­ton, Ch­ester­town, Queen­stown and just opened an of­fice on Til­gh­man Is­land last year.

Lan­grell said when she started three years ago, there were 28 staff mem­bers and had just over 1,200 clients.

“We now have 65 staff mem­bers and are serv­ing over 3,000 clients,” she said. “So we’ve done a huge growth and now we have a wait list. It’s in­creas­ing and it doesn’t go away.”

For the “No Mat­ter What ... You Mat­ter” cam­paign, they will be part­ner­ing with Chan­nel Marker, Inc. and Peace of Mind which is also a part of the walk on Oct. 21.

“So our of­fice is in­creas­ing their cri­sis ap­point­ments to be able to re­spond to the com­mu­nity in real time,” Lan­grell said. “We have a wait list, but if peo­ple are in cri­sis, we work them in be­cause cri­sis means cri­sis.”

“My sta­ple state­ment is, if ever ybody talked about this is­sue as much as they talk about Sunday night foot­ball Mon­day morn­ing at work, you’d all find out that you know some­body, and it’s all con­nected to some­body you know,” she said.

Through­out this week, cer­tain busi­nesses will do­nate a por­tion of their pro­ceeds to For All Sea­sons, Inc. on cer­tain dates for “No Mat­ter What ... You Mat­ter.”

On Sunday, Oc­to­ber 8, it will be Kiln Born Cre­ations; on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 10, Rise Up Cof­fee; on Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 11, Har­ri­son’s Wines and Liquors and Lizzie Dee; on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 12, Lev­ity and Out of the Fire; on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber, 13, Bon Mojo, Colo­nial Jewel­ers of Eas­ton, Krave, La De Da, Marc Ran­dall, Nes­tled Baby & Child, Trade Whims and Vin­tage Books and Fine Arts; and on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 14, Chef and Shower.

Fri­day’s kick-off party fea­tured fin­ger foods served by the Bartlett Pear Inn. As they so­cial­ized, guests grooved to the sounds of the Chop­tank River Big Band, a 17-piece orches­tra that plays night­club stan­dards, in­clud­ing jazz, rock and big band.

Lan­grell en­ter­tained the crowd by singing “God Bless the USA” with the band dur­ing Fri­day’s re­cep­tion.

For in­for­ma­tion about the Chop­tank River Big Band, con­tact Jake Ja­cobs at jja­cobs@car­o­linemd.org.

Those who are in­ter­ested in help­ing “No Mat­ter What ... You Mat­ter” cam­paign can call For All Sea­sons, Inc. at 410-822-1018 or visit forall sea­son­sinc.org on the web.

PHOTO BY CHRIS POLK

Sup­port­ers en­joy the out­side pa­tio at the Bartlett Pear Inn on Har­ri­son Street Fri­day evening as For All Sea­sons, Inc. kicks off their sui­cide preven­tion and aware­ness cam­paign, “No Mat­ter What ...You Mat­ter.”

From left, Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Tal­bot, Beth Anne Lan­grell, Kathy Bosin and Jimmy Jaramillo en­joy the out­side pa­tio at the Bartlett Pear Inn on Har­ri­son Street Fri­day evening as For All Sea­sons, Inc. kicks off their sui­cide preven­tion and aware­ness cam­paign, “No Mat­ter What ...You Mat­ter.”

PHOTOS BY CHRIS POLK

Sup­port­ers en­joy the out­side pa­tio at the Bartlett Pear Inn on Har­ri­son Street Fri­day evening.

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