SOMERVILLE, N.J. (PIX11) – It can never be said enough: for anyone in crisis, there is always hope.
“Rather than just sitting back and counting numbers, we’re trying to do something about it, and do something about it now,” said Executive Chief Assistant Prosecutor Michael Rogers.
Somerset County has seen a recent uptick in suicides, and the prosecutor’s office doesn’t want to see another.
“We’re always concerned about public safety, and this is part of public safety, is suicide prevention,” said Rogers.
Public safety officials said in just the last three weeks, there have been six reported suicides in Somerset County, ranging in age from as young as 16 to as old as 91.
“This is a public health emergency as far as we’re concerned,” said Rogers.
Rogers is taking the lead on the county prosecutors office’s mental health initiatives. The county’s website has a list of local resources that are available 24/7. Somerset County also offers Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services, which can provide therapists and counselors to those in need.
“These people are trained in how to help people who are in crisis, and we encourage our residents to please use the resources we have available,” said Rogers.
Rogers said police officers in the county are now undergoing what’s called Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training.
“We are training every one of them,” said Rogers. “It’s going to take some time to get through them all, but our municipal police chiefs have been terrific in cooperating with us. Help is available and it’s available now.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, contact the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) . It is a free, 24/7 service that offers support, information, and local resources. You can also click here for additional hotlines within your state.