The Woodlands Township Board of Directors began taking steps to address the issue of suicide within the township at the May 16 meeting.
This comes while the township is seeing rising numbers of reported suicide attempts.
The board heard a presentation regarding short-term steps the township can take from Jodie Janacek and Kim Moayed from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Janacek and Moayed recommended the board consider hiring a community outreach director.
“One [solution]we’ve talked about and heard from other people is [hiring]the community outreach director,” Moayed said. “Someone who can have a full-time, dedicated role to suicide prevention. We feel this would be pretty key to moving forward.”
Janacek and Moayed noted the community outreach director would be responsible for dedicating time for researching causes and prevention measures of suicide, implementing mental health resources, providing information to the community through press conferences in the case of suicide and securing arrangements for support for families dealing with a suicide loss.
Director John McMullan said hiring the community director would be a bite-size step the township could take to start making an impact and indicated he would like to see the position added to the upcoming budget discussions for August to be better informed.
The board of directors directed the township’s community relations team to begin distributing information to the public to get the process started before a community outreach director can be hired.
In other news Thursday, the board of directors also unanimously approved the appointment of director John Brown as The Woodlands liaison to the countywide efforts for suicide prevention.