Posted by Ann Sorvari

The Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough has made a grant in support to AB United Way of their newly formed AB Cares, a coalition for the prevention of suicide.

 Suicide has become an increasingly serious health issue in our communities. In response, the Acton and Boxborough town governments, health and social services, and the religious community have mobilized to create AB Cares. Its goal is to provide social support, provide resources, and bring training to the communities, with the goal that no one feels that suicide is their only option.

The Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough is proud to provide a grant in support of this important work.

AB United Way is proud to co-found AB Cares, a community-based collaborative effort that seeks to prevent suicide across the life span and support all who are impacted by suicide. AB Cares, a community coalition, serves as a community response to suicide.

"Suicide is a major public health issue in Massachusetts. 642 deaths were ruled as suicides in 2015," said Larry Berkowitz, Director, Riverside Trauma Center.

AB Cares includes all residents of the community as youth, middle-aged men, and seniors are at the greatest risk of death by suicide. For Acton and Boxborough, the comprehensive 2016 Youth Risk Behavior survey revealed that 15% of high school students seriously considered suicide in the last 12 months. For the middle school, 5% of sixth grade respondents and 11% of eighth grade respondents report having seriously considered attempting suicide during the twelve months prior to the survey.

"Our vision is a community that is resilient and responsive to the tragedy of suicide," said Rachel Sagan, Executive Director of the Acton-Boxborough United Way. "We hope to provide social support to fight stigma, provide resources on suicide prevention and mental health, and bring suicide prevention training to the community."

AB United Way thanks the Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough for their support of AB Cares.