City council discusses suicide prevention efforts


By Jennifer Woods - jwoods@aimmediamidwest.com



City Manager Joe Denen shared the new signs from the Fayette County Suicide Prevention Coalition (FCSPC) with city council members on Wednesday. FCSPC raised the funds to purchase the signs and requested the city place them in public places such as the parks as a form of outreach. The city officials reacted favorably toward the request.

City Manager Joe Denen shared the new signs from the Fayette County Suicide Prevention Coalition (FCSPC) with city council members on Wednesday. FCSPC raised the funds to purchase the signs and requested the city place them in public places such as the parks as a form of outreach. The city officials reacted favorably toward the request.


Jennifer Woods | Record-Herald photo

During Wednesday’s Washington Court House City Council meeting, various topics were touched on including efforts by the Fayette County Suicide Prevention Coalition (FCSPC).

The FCSPC was formed last summer to combat rising levels of suicide numbers.

The coalition is organized under the Paint Valley ADAMH Board in Chillicothe although its attention is on Fayette County.

As previously reported, according to Angie Mellott, the social media coordinator, the coalition has several goals including to reduce stigma around mental health, provide the community with education, to provide related training services, to assist individuals in understanding the kind of help they can turn to, etc.

Recently, FCSPC had a fundraiser selling items such as sweaters and shirts, as well as raised funds to order signs that were planned to include its logo, an inspirational message, and the national suicide hotline number.

During the city council meeting, City Manager Joe Denen shared one of those signs with council and explained the coalition requested for the signs to be placed throughout town in areas such as the parks and other public areas.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea. Especially with coronavirus and, quite honestly, national news quite frequently being tedious. That can have a bigger effect on people than I think sometimes we realize. So, any opportunity that we have to remind people that if they’re having thoughts that aren’t healthy, that there are a variety of ways to reach out and get some help,” said Denen.

The council received the request favorably.

Also during the meeting, Denen spoke of the community taking precautions during the pandemic.

“COVID-19… Everybody in the community continues to have the opportunity to make a difference. Now, for a lot of people, masks and social distancing has become a controversial topic, and I don’t want to get into that at all,” said Denen. “But increasingly, with kids going back to school, there’ll be more movement in the community and anything people can do with social distancing, with masks, with handwashing — the more that they think about it, the more of a difference they can make.”

“If you’re not inclined to do any of those activities, I really ask you to think about it,” said Denen. “I personally don’t go to bed with fear for coronavirus for myself, but you think about other people and your family that may be more susceptible, you think about other folks in the community that have a higher risk, and please, in your daily activities, be conscious of what you can do to slow the spread of a respiratory virus. At the end of the day, this is just a respiratory virus, and people are smart. They’re great big, multi-cellular organisms, and this is just a little piece of DNA. This is something that we can be successful in slowing its spread and making the situation manageable for the healthcare system.”

As for legislation during the meeting, one resolution was placed on second reading and adopted while five resolutions were placed on first reading. One new ordinance was placed on first reading.

The first time legislation is seen and approved by council it is placed on a first reading and the second time on a second reading, etc. Adoption of resolutions can occur once they have been placed on the second reading. Adoptions of ordinances can occur once they have been placed on third reading.

The new ordinance, if passed, would rename Mars Drive to Companion Drive. This alteration was a request made by Red Collar Pet Food, which is located off Mars Drive in Washington Court House.

The newly-adopted resolution allows Denen to enter into an agreement with the Fayette County Commissioners to help provide public defender services. As previously reported, the city pays a portion of costs to the county for the city to be included in coverage.

All five new resolutions that were placed on first reading, if passed, would allow various re-appointments:

-Mikki Hunter-Smith to the Revolving Loan Fund Committee (term ending Dec. 31 of 2024)

-Eddie Fisher to both the Fayette County Planning Commission (term ending Dec. 31 of 2024) and the Fayette County Regional Planning Commission (term ending Dec. 31 of 2023)

-Steven Lewis to both the Fayette County Planning Commission (term ending Dec. 31 of 2024) and the Fayette County Regional Planning Commission (term ending Dec. 31 of 2023).

Washington Court House City Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month. They are located in the second floor council chambers of the City Administration Building, 105 N. Main Street. Currently, attendance is being limited due to the pandemic and meetings are being held at 9 a.m. Meetings will be streamed live on the YouTube channel “City of Washington Court House, Ohio” at www.youtube.com/channel/UCRwMxUBn8XIQTjnSvFaGDgA.

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.

City Manager Joe Denen shared the new signs from the Fayette County Suicide Prevention Coalition (FCSPC) with city council members on Wednesday. FCSPC raised the funds to purchase the signs and requested the city place them in public places such as the parks as a form of outreach. The city officials reacted favorably toward the request.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2020/08/web1_denenSPCCloseCrop.jpgCity Manager Joe Denen shared the new signs from the Fayette County Suicide Prevention Coalition (FCSPC) with city council members on Wednesday. FCSPC raised the funds to purchase the signs and requested the city place them in public places such as the parks as a form of outreach. The city officials reacted favorably toward the request. Jennifer Woods | Record-Herald photo

By Jennifer Woods

jwoods@aimmediamidwest.com