Pictured: Staff at Ocean Deli in Wallops Island proudly displaying the Suicide Prevention Awareness Pizza Box.
A topic that many people avoid addressing is suicide. It is a topic that can be difficult to discuss but it is a subject that is very real. Every seven hours, someone in Virginia dies by suicide. Winter is a tough time for many folks and the isolation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to more depression and anxiety.
In order to raise awareness and provide prevention resources, the Eastern Shore Community Services Board has distributed specially printed pizza boxes to pizza restaurants from Chincoteague and Wallops Island to Cape Charles. The restaurants have been using them and positive feedback is appearing on social media. The boxes help restaurant patrons understand basic statistics about the prevalence of suicide in Virginia and provide resources for help. The boxes reinforce the idea that folks are not alone and that there is help. Participating restaurants include DeadRise Pies in Cape Charles, Sunrise Pizzeria in Exmore, Panzotti’s Pizza and Waffles in Onley, DaVinci’s Italian Kitchen in Onancock, Roma Diner and Pizzeria in Nelsonia, Ocean Deli Pizza in Wallops Island and Famous Pizza in Chincoteague. More restaurants are being asked to join in the effort.
For information on how restaurants or the public can help stop the stigma and raise awareness, please contact the ESCSB Office of Prevention Services at 442-5388. By providing resources, lives can be saved. For more information, go to www.escsb.org. For Same Day Access to Behavioral Health Services, please call the ESCSB’s Parksley office at 757-665-1260.