If you someone or someone you know may be feeling suicidal, there is help available. You can call these numbers anytime to talk or find out more info:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Simply dial 988. 24 hours. Call to talk.
- Suicide Prevention text line: text 741741.
- Call2Talk – a confidential mental health suicide prevention hotline. 508-532-2255
- Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860 – peer support service www.translifeline.org
- The Trevor Project Lifeline- 1-866-488-7386 www.thetrevorproject.org
- Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255 press 1 OR text 838255Samaritans 24-hour Helpline: 877-870-4673
- Information on what it’s like to call the suicide prevention lifeline: Visit: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/carolinekee/what-happens-when-you-call-suicide-hotline
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention. Visit www.berkshirecoalition.org
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: http://www.afsp.org
- American Association of Suicidology
THE FIVE ACTION STEPS IN SUICIDE PREVENTION
- ASK, THEN LISTEN
- KEEP THEM SAFE
- BE THERE
- HELP THEM CONNECT
- FOLLOW UP
ASK, THEN LISTEN
How – Asking the question “Are you thinking about suicide?” communicates that you’re open to speaking about suicide in a non-judgmental and supportive way. Asking in this direct, unbiased manner, can open the door for effective dialogue about their emotional pain and can allow everyone to see what next steps need to be taken. Other questions you can ask include, “How do you hurt?” and “How can I help?” Do not ever promise to keep their thoughts of suicide a secret.
The flip side of the “Ask” step is to “Listen.” Make sure you take their answers seriously and not to ignore them, especially if they indicate they are experiencing thoughts of suicide. Listening to their reasons for being in such emotional pain, as well as listening for any potential reasons they want to continue to stay alive, are both incredibly important when they are telling you what’s going on. Help them focus on their reasons for living and avoid trying to impose your reasons for them to stay alive.
KEEP THEM SAFE
How – First of all, it’s good for everyone to be on the same page. After the “Ask” step, and you’ve determined suicide is indeed being talked about, it’s important to find out a few things to establish immediate safety. Have they already done anything to try to kill themselves before talking with you? Does the person experiencing thoughts of suicide know how they would kill themselves? Do they have a specific, detailed plan? What’s the timing for their plan? What sort of access do they have to their planned method?
How – This could mean being physically present for someone, speaking with them on the phone when you can, or any other way that shows support for the person at risk. An important aspect of this step is to make sure you follow through with the ways in which you say you’ll be able to support the person – do not commit to anything you are not willing or able to accomplish. If you are unable to be physically present with someone with thoughts of suicide, talk with them to develop some ideas for others who might be able to help as well (again, only others who are willing, able, and appropriate to be there). Listening is again very important during this step – find out what and who they believe will be the most effective sources of help.
HELP THEM CONNECT
How – Helping someone with thoughts of suicide connect with ongoing supports (like the Lifeline, 800-273-8255) can help them establish a safety net for those moments they find themselves in a crisis. Additional components of a safety net might be connecting them with supports and resources in their communities. Explore some of these possible supports with them – are they currently seeing a mental health professional? Have they in the past? Is this an option for them currently? Are there other mental health resources in the community that can effectively help?
One way to start helping them find ways to connect is to work with them to develop a safety plan. This can include ways for them identify if they start to experience significant, severe thoughts of suicide along with what to do in those crisis moments. A safety plan can also include a list of individuals to contact when a crisis occurs. The My3 app is a safety planning and crisis intervention app that can help develop these supports and is stored conveniently on your smartphone for quick access.
How – After your initial contact with a person experiencing thoughts of suicide, and after you’ve connected them with the immediate support systems they need, make sure to follow-up with them to see how they’re doing. Leave a message, send a text, or give them a call. The follow-up step is a great time to check in with them to see if there is more you are capable of helping with or if there are things you’ve said you would do and haven’t yet had the chance to get done for the person.
NEW MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES – Jan 2023
- Behavioral Health Help Line. Dial 833-773-BHHL (2445) or visit www.masshelpline.com Massachusetts created an easily accessible “front door” to BH treatment via a central phone and chat line that enable people to easily find available providers and services that meet their needs.
2. 25 Community Behavioral Health Centers (CBHCs) Newly designated CBHCs will expand the availability of outpatient evaluation and treatment in communities across the Commonwealth. CBHCs will provide real-time urgent care and integrated mental health and addiction treatment for all ages with evening and weekend hours.
In Pittsfield – contact the Brien Center:
· For all ages
· Crisis triage and evaluation
· Same or next day treatment and stabilization
· Open same day access
· Individualized outpatient treatment
· Care Coordination
3. 10 Young Adult Access Centers are open, requiring no appointments. They are available to all young adults and support employment, education, and housing. Also included are recreation, access to laundry, showers, and computers. They offer supportive referrals for clinical services, and are staffed by young adult peers. Go to Speakingofhope.org to find a young adult access center near you.
Impact Center – Gandara
41 Taylor Street
Main Phone Number: 413-654-1566
Christina Dillon, Program Supervisor
Carlos Furcal, Young Adult Peer Mentor
Danielle Diaz, Young Adult Peer Mentor
Nyesha Santa, Young Adult Peer Mentor
Brianna Hernandez, Young Adult Recovery Support Specialist
LOCAL SUICIDE PREVENTION
- IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) for teens at Berkshire Health Systems
- Suicide Prevention groups at Berkshire Health Systems – short term support groups and caring contact for youth ages 10-24 who have come through the emergency department or inpatient hospitalization. Contact BHS.
- Brien Center TSP for youth 18+. Contact Sam Utz at Samuel.Utz@briencenter.org or call 413-629-1068.
- Suicide Loss Survivors Support Group – Contact Peggy Morse at 413-441-6316
- MassSupport Network provides free community outreach and support services to people of all ages living in Massachusetts in response to the unprecedented public health crisis, COVID-19. Call 888-215-4920. Visit: https://masssupport.org/
- The COMPASS Helpline at NAMI Massachusetts provides information and resources to help people navigate the complex mental health system, and problem solve in difficult circumstances. Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. 1-800-370-9085
- NAMI Connection Support Groups – for people living with a mental health condition. Groups are led by NAMI facilitators and provide a safe, private, and non-judgmental setting. Several groups by phone and email. namimass.org/nami-connection-recovery-support-groups
- @home with NAMI Massachusetts – A new online group open to anyone. 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month, 10 – 11:30 am. Visit: https://namimass.org
- NAMI Peer-to-Peer – 8-week recovery-focused online educational program for adults to establish maintain wellness. Visit: https://namimass.org/nami-peer-to-peer/
Western Mass Peer Support Lines
- Text Support: 413-287-1112 Every day 3 – 7pm
- 1-888-407-4515 Every day 7 – 11 pm (through this emergency)
ONLINE SUPPORT GROUPS
- DBSA Family & Friends Support Groups – The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) provides support to people diagnosed with mood disorders and loved ones. Visit: https://www.dbsalliance.org/support/chapters-and-support-groups/online-support-groups/
- Hearing Voices Network – Visit: http://www.hearingvoicesusa.org/
- Hearing Voices Network Family & Friends Support Group – Supports family members and friends of those who hear voices or have visions or non-consensus experiences and beliefs. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
RESOURCES FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS: The Emotional PPE Project is a directory that provides contact information of volunteer mental health practitioners to healthcare workers whose mental health has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Visit: https://www.emotionalppe.org/
Info on these resources can be found at: https://namimass.org/online-and-phone-support-options
- Parental Stress Line: 1-800-632-8188. Open 24/7, All Languages Available
- Parents Helping Parents of Massachusetts: Free, confidential parent support groups that serve as a safe place for parents to express frustrations and concerns about their children and families and get advice from other parents who understand. Parents Helping Parents will be offering a number of online/call-in support groups. Visit: https://www.parentshelpingparents.org/
- Parent/Professional Advocacy League: Offers weekly support groups for parents of children and teens, including groups for families who are Spanish-speaking. Visit: https://ppal.net/ppal-central-ma
- NAMI Basics OnDemand: Free, 6-module course. Offers parents and caregivers the opportunity to share stories, support, and interact with each other in an online setting.
- Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change
- Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change (MFOFC) is offering support calls for families of children and teens with disabilities. They are also helping to connect families with volunteer educators who can provide remote support. Visit https://mfofc.org/covid19/
- The Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) – offers support to people with Asperger Syndrome and similar diagnoses, as well as family members. Visit: https://www.aane.org/
- Federation for Children with Special Needs: COVID-related information and updates at: https://fcsn.org/faqs-new-test/
LOCAL SUPPORT FOR MENTAL HEALTH
- Inpatient / Hospital-based services: Berkshire Medical Center: 413-447-2167
- Local Crisis Team and Brien Center: (413) 499-0412
Local Outpatient Mental Health Services:
- Clinical and Support Options: (413)236-5656
- ServiceNet Inc.: (413)442-4003 http://www.servicenet.org
- Berkshire Psychotherapy Network: www.BerkshirePsychotherapyNetwork.org
- Mass 211: Dial 2-1-1 and get connected to a mental health specialist
SUBSTANCE ABUSE RESOURCES
Local: McGee Recovery / Detox Center: 413-445-9228
- Narcotics Anonymous: Virtual Meetings https://nerna.org/virtual-meetings/ and https://www.na.org/?ID=virtual_meetings; International meeting: Zoom ID 4949655895
- Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meetings http://aa-intergroup.org/directory.php
- Smart Recovery Online Meetings https://www.smartrecovery.org/smartrecovery-toolbox/smart-recoveryonline/
- Recovery Dharma Online – Online and Dial In https://recoverydharma.online/
- LifeRing Secular Recovery Online & Email Groups https://www.lifering.org/onlinemeetings
- Al-Anon Online & Phone Meetings www.al-anon.org/al-anonmeetings/electronic-meetings/
- Adult Children of Alcoholics Online and Phone Meetings https://adultchildren.org
- We Connect Recovery: https://www.weconnectrecovery.com/free-online-support-meetings
EATING DISORDER RESOURCES
- Overeaters Anonymous: Western MA: (413) 783-4198 / National Number (505) 891-2664
- Eating Disorders Anonymous in Pittsfield: E-mail Jen at email@example.com. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Walden Behavioral Care (multiple locations)
- Call 888-305-2997 or visit: www.waldeneatingdisorders.com
- National Eating Disorders Helpline: (800) 931-2237 or visit: www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
- National Association of Anorexia & Related Eating Disorders
- Helpline: 630-577-1330 or 847-831-3438 Visit: www.anad.org
- Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders:
- Weekly Live Out Loud peer support group for LGBTQIA+ Youth. Contact Emma at 412-448-8281.
- Playwright Mentoring Project (PMP) Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield. Free theatre program for youth 13-19. Meets weekly October- April. No experience required. Contact Jane O’Leary at 413-239-4PMP or email JOLeary@BarringtonStageCo.org
- Rap it Up Music Program at 18 Degrees (formerly Family Resource Center), West St, Pittsfield. Visit: https://www.berkshirechildren.org
- Recovery Learning Center offers several groups including the Alternatives to Suicide (adult group), a Peer Support group and the Hearing Voices group, in Pittsfield. Contact Jean-Marie Laurin at 413-652-4732.
- Art therapy with Marney Schorr, offers 6-12 week two hour art therapy groups for adults on topics such as self care, anger, depression, DBT skills. Most groups have a copay of $20-25.
- Living In Recovery, 81 Linden St, Pittsfield. Free daily support groups on various recovery topics such as alcohol and substance abuse recovery, meditation, art and more. Walk in, see Facebook or website: www.thegbcmc.org. Or call 413-320-3546 or 413- 281-7407.
- Rainbow Seniors Adult LGBTQIA support groups. Visit www.rainbowseniors.org.
- Berkshire Trans Group is a peer discussion/empowerment group for people who are trans, non-binary, genderqueer, or gender-questioning. Contact email@example.com.
FAMILY SUPPORTS/ ALL AGES
18 Degrees/Berkshire Children & Families offers various groups, events and mentorship for children, youth and families. Visit: https://www.berkshirechildren.org
Elizabeth Freeman Center offers free individual counseling, advocacy, shelter and support groups for survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence and their families, all ages. Open 24 hours. Call 413-499-2425 or 1-866- 401-2425. Walk in at Pittsfield: 43 Francis Avenue. Great Barrington: 168 Main Street, Suite 4. North Adams
LOCAL RESOURCES FOR HOMELESSNESS (Pittsfield)
If you are experiencing homelessness, please know that you are not alone. There are resources in Pittsfield that can help. While some places are limited due to Covid-19, don’t give up, there are places open to help.
- ‘Safety kits’ are available that include some basics. If you are using substances such as street drugs, you can be supplied with Narcan to help prevent overdose.
- The RLC Wildflower project has a drop in center located at 361 North Street open 6 days a week Mon- Sat 11 am to 2 pm offering lunch, air conditioning, phone charging and peer support.
- The Christian Center at 193 Robbins Ave off Linden St has reopened which offers food, toiletries and clothing.
- The Cathedral of the Beloved is a good support for folks that do not utilize the shelters. Call 413-344-8262. They are located at 67 East St and at Zion Church at 74 First St (near the Common).
- Sunday meals are offered from 1-2 pm at St Stephens Church at the Allen St entrance. Please also see the Community Meals list.
- If you want help for alcohol or drug addiction, you can get services at the Brien Center and the Keenan House. Call 413-499-0412.
- The American Red Cross can help with medical needs, food and shelter at 480 West St. Call 413-442-1506
- The Elizabeth Freeman Center can offer support at 146 First St or by calling 413-499-2425. (They also have locations open 24 hours at 54 Housatonic Street, Lee and 85 Main Street, North Adams).
- Shelter may be provided at the following locations:
- Barton’s Crossing at 1307 North St. Call 413-442-1445
- Our Friends House Family Shelter at 292 West St. Call 413-499-2877
- For veterans contact Soldier On at 360 West Housatonic St. Call 413-236-5644.
- If you are 18 or under, you can get shelter at the Key program at 369 West Street 413-443-7218
- You may be able to get help by contacting Berkshire Regional Housing Authority at 1 Fenn St. Call 413-443-7138.
COMMUNITY MEALS IN PITTSFIELD:
For assistance with finding an adolescent clinician in Berkshire County, contact AIRY. We will do our best to help.