Adams County Commissioners Proclaim Suicide Prevention Month, Hispanic Month, and the Heritage Festival

The Adams County Commissioners addressed a serious problem for county residents today as they proclaimed September 2022 as Suicide Prevention Month.  

Healthy Adams County Executive Director Kathy Gaskin said that in the past the focus had been on youth, but that there now was a greater need for focus on middle-aged males, who are more likely to be victims of suicide by gunshot. Gaskin said the best way to help someone who may be suicidal is to act.

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Gaskin said various resources, including emergency chat lines and counselors, are available. Gaskin presented the board with posters offering more information to Adam’s County residents.

Commissioner Randy Phiel said suicide was an important topic that many people have experienced firsthand or through others they have known. He pointed out that suicide is traumatic for first responders, family, and friends.

The Commissioners also proclaimed September 15 through October 15, 2022 as Hispanic Month and recognized the 31st annual Adams County Heritage Festival which will take place September 18 from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Gettysburg Rec Park, 545 Long Lane.

Amelia Contreras, Executive Director of Manos Unidas, thanked the board for recognizing the Hispanic community, which represents nearly seven percent of the County’s population. Manos Unidas, created in 2006, is a partnership between the county’s Latino Services Task Force and St. Francis Xavier Church. The center is an all-volunteer community organization that promotes the integration of the growing diverse population in Adams County through programs that facilitate cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.

The festival is a celebration of ethnic music, food, and crafts that reflects the multicultural atmosphere of Adams County. It is a way of sharing various traditions that demonstrates a commitment to community and the goal of living together in harmony.

Bob Collinge, Secretary of Interfaith Center for Faith and Justice, addressed the board and briefly outlined some of the events that will take the stage at this year’s celebration. Heritage Day is co-sponsored by the YWCA Gettysburg and Adams County.

In other board business, recommendations approved by the board included one that will increase the tablet computer ratio to 1 tablet for each prisoner at the Adams County Adult Correctional Complex. Each tablet will have a core education suite installed, provided by Edovo Core Education. The software will provide opportunities for inmates to pursue a general education degree, college-level classes, and technical classes.

The County also approved a renewal of the Correctional Complex’s LexisNexis Prison Solution, which gives inmates access to legal resources as required by state statute.

Featured image caption: 31st Annual Heritage Day Proclamation. From left, Janet Powers, Irene Powell, Commissioner James Martin, Commissioner Randy Phiel, Bill Collinge, Heritage Day Chair and Nancy Lilley [Judith Cameron Seniura]

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Judith Cameron Seniura is a freelance reporter. She began her journalism career in the early ‘70s and has written for newspapers, magazines, and other media in Ontario, Canada, Alaska, Michigan, Nebraska, San Antonio, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

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