Colon: Suicide rates among our communities

While we are concluding September’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month for 2022, the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize, and Hardin Counties is continually working to prevent suicide. The Board funds many local resources and initiatives for suicide prevention.

The Hopeline is a local helpline available 24/7 to Allen, Auglaize and Hardin County residents. Mental health professionals staff the Hopeline. If you or a loved one are in crisis, call 1-800-567-HOPE (4673) to talk to someone.

The We Care Regional Crisis Center combines services to provide quality crisis intervention. The Crisis Center’s services include the crisis Hopeline, crisis counseling, screening and crisis intervention for youth, medically managed withdrawal for opioids and stimulants and emergency diagnostic assessments. Mental health and addiction professionals staff the Crisis Center making counseling services available for those in need.

The Crisis Center is a safe place for you to go if in crisis or to bring your loved ones. It is located at 797 S. Main St. in Lima. You or a loved one can be referred to the We Care Regional Crisis Center by calling the 24/7 Hopeline at 1-800-567-4673.

Sometimes reaching out to someone else for help can feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. Mental health screenings are a quick, anonymous way to check in on your mental health from wherever you are. Community members can also quickly assess a loved one through a screening.

Screenings are provided for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, adolescent depression, bipolar disorder, alcohol use disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, disordered eating, opioid misuse, psychosis, substance use, gambling and general well-being.

These mental health screenings are paid for by public funding through the MHRSB. It is yours to use whenever you want to check up on your mental health. Take an anonymous screening at

Our community-based initiatives for suicide prevention increase the help available when someone might not reach out to professionals on their own. Mental Health First Aid is an in-person training on how to help people in crisis. These trainings are provided throughout the community by the Board. You can attend one near you or offer to host one within your community or workplace. Find upcoming dates and register at

Supporting youth-based suicide prevention is a priority for the Board. There are programs in the schools like the Gatekeepers, a student-led organization where students host awareness activities; and Lifelines, a program for health classes to educate students on suicide and the role they play in prevention.

The MHRSB also funds postvention services like the LOSS Team and support groups. The LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) Team is a group of highly trained volunteers and suicide survivors who help the newly bereaved due to suicide. They complement the services provided at the scene of a suicide alongside first responders. The LOSS Team connects survivors of suicide with local resources in their community, so they don’t feel alone.

We have Grief & LOSS support groups within our communities for anyone experiencing grief or loss due to suicide to provide connection to others that have experienced similar situations. Connect with those support groups at one of our partnering agencies, PASS, at

There is help right here in our local communities. There is hope.

If you or a loved one are in crisis or need to talk to someone locally, call the Hopeline at 1-800-567-HOPE (4673).

Tammie Colon is Executive Director of Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize, and Hardin Counties