Suicide Awareness

Chesterfield Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition

The Chesterfield Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition brings together organizations in Central Virginia who are working to educate residents about mental illness, risk factors for suicide and support resources within our community.

Founded in 2015, the mission of the Chesterfield Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition is to increase the coordination of suicide prevention and awareness activities in Chesterfield through educational programs, community outreach and media efforts. The coalition is a collaborative organization comprised of representatives from community organizations that have a role in promoting suicide prevention and awareness in Chesterfield County. Member organizations provide a representative to monthly meetings and subcommittees and support coalition events. For more information about the coalition, including how to join, please email Melissa Ackley or call 804-706-2010.

Crisis Intervention

If you or someone you care about is having thoughts of suicide, contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (by dialing 988).

September is Suicide Prevention Month

This September, Chesterfield is focusing on older adult suicide awareness for national suicide prevention month.
  1. Older Adult Suicide Awareness

Older Adult Suicide Awareness

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people ages 85 and older had the highest rates of suicide in 2022, followed by people ages 75-84. In Virginia in 2021, people ages 75-84 had the highest rates of suicide (21.6 per 100,000), exceeding the national average (18.4 per 100,000).

Depression and suicide are not a standard part of aging. It is important to be aware of signs of mental health concerns and connect to help if needed. Signs include:

  • Withdrawing from friends, family or others
  • Sleeping all the time or unable to sleep
  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • Feeling hopeless or trapped
  • Rage, uncontrolled anger
  • Talking of wanting to hurt or kill themselves
  • Seeking ways to kill themselves
  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide when this is not usual for the person

You are not alone if you are struggling with your mental health. Reach out for help; resources are available. Studies show that being involved in meaningful recreational, creative and social activities contributes to positive mental health.

If you or someone you care about is having thoughts of suicide or experiencing a mental health emergency, find help now by calling or texting 988, the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Press 1 if you are a veteran.

Talk Saves Lives for Older Adults Workshops

Participants in our free Talk Saves Lives for Older Adults workshops will learn the common risk factors for suicide in older adults, how to spot the warning signs in others, and how to keep ourselves, our loved ones and those in our community safe. Upcoming workshops:

Learn more about the variety of local resources to help people struggling with loneliness, isolation, depression and thoughts of suicide in the Senior and Suicide brochure (PDF).

Mental Health is Ageless Videos

View how older adults stay involved in Chesterfield County, as meaningful recreational, creative and social activities contribute to positive mental health.

View how this Friendship Cafe in Chesterfield County, Virginia, is helping senior citizens fight loneliness and depression.

Watch Don Landry's story about keeping a positive attitude through tough times.

  1. Teen Suicide Awareness
  1. Veteran Suicide Awareness
  1. Lock and Talk
  1. Resources 

Resilient Chesterfield

Resilient Chesterfield is the theme for the Chesterfield Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition’s 2021 Suicide Prevention Month campaign. Resilience is the ability to adapt well in the face of adversity or challenges, essential to positive mental and physical health, and a skill that must be modeled, taught and practiced.  

There are many great books for children, tweens, teens and adults about resilience. Pick one up at your local branch of the Chesterfield County Public Library or favorite bookseller; view our Resilience Book List (PDF).

Self care is important to building and maintaining resilience. Get ideas from this Self Care Strategies for Resilience (PDF) list.

Stories of Resilience

As part of this campaign, people who live, work, play and do business in Chesterfield shared their personal stories of resilience.

View C.J.'s story:

View Chastain's story:

View Heather's story:

View Jason's story:

View Michael's story:

View Molly's story: