Seems there’s a lot going on in Bucks County and high on the list is infrastructure, recreation and mental health awareness.
Bucks County Commissioners presented the second of three legislative breakfast programs hosted by Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce June 1 at McCoole’s Arts and Events Place in Quakertown.
The annual series provides a platform for local state and national legislators to interact with Upper Bucks County businesses and constituents in a relaxed, informal setting.
In addition to drug overdose deaths the county has taken up suicide prevention according to Wendy Flanigan. She said the Bucks County Suicide Prevention Task Force had a goal “…to eliminate suicide.”
Flanigan is coordinator of service development and Quality management for Bucks County Mental Health Department.
A representative for the Bucks County Crisis Intervention Team, Flanigan provided information about suicide awareness and prevention, and how businesses can spot and assist struggling employees.
“In 2017, there were 77 suicide deaths reported by the County Coroner’s Office,” Flanigan said.
She added that number was likely higher because some suicide deaths may not have appeared suspicious, and were not reported or investigated. “I think there are folks dying from suicide we are not catching,” She said.
Flanigan introduced a new approach – QPR, which stands for Question, Persuade and Refer, aimed at quickly assessing if more services are appropriate.
QPR aims to train “gatekeepers” to recognize a mental health crisis and learn the warning signs someone may be considering suicide.
Flanigan said her team offers businesses and organizations training to recognize symptoms and provide resources and referrals so employees can get the help they need.
According to the American Psychiatric Association Foundation website, about 7 percent of full-time workers in the U.S. experienced major depression during the past year.
The financial impact is staggering: A whooping $210.5 billion per year is the estimated economic burden shouldered, due to major depressive disorder, or MDD, and a study revealed about 16 million Americans suffer from some form of major depressive disorder.
Flanigan is the contact for business owners and managers to reach to set up in house training or for more information. Contact her at 215.444.2882, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those eager for the Upper Bucks Rail Trail will need to wait a bit longer. The eagerly anticipated walking and hiking trails, set to connect with the Saucon Valley Rail Trail in Lehigh County would bring Quakertown Borough and Richland Township into the popular walking, biking and hiking trail system.
“We’re waiting for the final easement connection to Veterans Park [in Richland Township],” said Evan Stone, executive director of the Bucks County Planning Commission.
He said request for proposal documents were out to engineering firms and that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) was currently clearing vegetation and removing rail bed remnants.
Business development continues to be brisk throughout Bucks County with nearly 900,000 square feet of non-residential applications currently in review by the planning commission.
Stone said non-residential building applications were up, and of those 45 percent were for industrial uses and 36 percent were for commercial uses.
“There is 2.6 million square foot of previous manufacturing and micro distribution centers in Bucks County, and we are more closing tracking these,” Stone said.
Look for the third and final legislative update, “State of the Nation” to be announced soon!
Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce
An economic development agency for Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
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