POMPTON PLAINS, NJ - September is National Suicide Prevention Month and Atlantic Health System's Chilton Medical Center recently hosted a "Paint a Rock for Suicide Awareness" table where visitors, patients and employees were encouraged to paint a rock in honor of suicide awareness.

Dr. Peter Bolo, the Chairman for the Department of Psychiatry at Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center and on-staff at Chilton Medical Center said: “The risk and rate of suicides have been increasing.  The largest numbers have been in young adults between fifteen and thirty.  But the frequency of suicide has increased in middle-ages between 45 and 60, then 85 and older.” Dr. Bolo listed psychiatric reasons for the increase, including depression, bi-polar disorder and substance abuse.

Awareness is a key to helping to prevent suicides. “Understanding when someone is at risk by identifying signs and intervening early can help to save lives,” said Bolo at a presentation earlier this month during the Chilton Medical Center’s sponsored Walk with a Doc program at the Willowbrook Mall.

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About 40 rocks were painted and are now displayed as a "Pathway of Hope" in front of the hospital. With help comes hope. Help a loved one, a friend or yourself.

To learn more about suicide prevention or to schedule an appointment, call Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400.