Westminster, MD, Friday, September 29, 2023 - Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks is pleased to announce the donation of two benches at community parks this month. The donation of the benches coincides with September as Suicide Awareness Month.

Krimgold Park, located at 5355 Woodbine Rd in Woodbine, is the recipient of a new bright yellow bench, donated to the county park by Josh’s Benches for Awareness, a non-profit for suicide prevention and awareness. Although over 100 benches have been donated throughout the country for this cause, this bench is the first to be located in Maryland.

According to their website, “Josh’s Benches for Awareness Corporation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization dedicated to raising awareness on mental health issues and promoting suitable resources to remove the negative stigma surrounding the receiving of help. We participate in assemblies and speaker events to try and spread valuable info that will hopefully one day be incorporated into student curriculum. The benches that we build and install serve as physical symbols that represent our talks, any local campaign or movement surrounding mental health, and are also safe places for students to refer to for help.” 

The Carroll County Health Department (CCHD) donated a second bench to Cape Horn Park, located at 2500 Cape Horn Rd in Hampstead. This purple bench represents both Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention with the purple color symbolizing suicide awareness and prevention while serving as a reminder that suicide is an issue that needs to be discussed.  The bench serves not only as a memorial, but a symbol of hope and a reminder that treatment is effective and people do recover from behavioral health issues. The bench was purchased by CCHD to honor community members whose lives were lost to substance use and suicide. The health department is engaged in ongoing suicide and overdose prevention efforts and hopes to donate additional benches in the future.

The county thanks the Josh’s Benches organization and the Carroll County Health Department for their donations and contributions to mental health issues awareness.

Marylanders can connect to a local behavioral health crisis call specialist through the 9-8-8 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988 or by chatting online at 988Lifeline.org. Anyone experiencing a crisis and needing assistance, as well as someone with concerns about a loved one, should call or text 9-8-8 to be connected with trained mental health specialists.