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Naperville
Friday, August 12, 2022

‘Operation Disrupt’ aims to save lives of teens and young adults

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“Operation Disrupt” launches to prevent suicide attempts in the Naperville area. The new initiative is a collaborative effort by Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, Naperville Park District, City of Naperville, and Forest Preserve Districts of DuPage and Will Counties. Pictured above, the Circle of Peace is a sculpture depicting youth representing the continuum of humanity, located along Oster Drive near Linden Oaks and overlooking Knoch Park.

A joint task force, including Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, Naperville Park District, City of Naperville, and Forest Preserve Districts of DuPage and Will Counties, announces a new, collaborative program aimed at addressing the growing epidemic of teen and young adult suicides.

The new program, called Operation Disrupt, uses data from police and fire department records to identify locations where suicide attempts have occurred in the past, as well as other isolated areas where suicide attempts may occur in the future, and directs police patrols to these locations. Police officers are being trained on what to do “in the moment” if, while on these patrols, they encounter someone who may be suicidal or otherwise in need of assistance. In addition, Operation Disrupt signs are being posted in these locations to alert the public that these locations are being patrolled. These signs will display the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number, 1-800-273-8255, and website, suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Operation Disrupt was developed in partnership with Jerome Kaul, PsyD, lead clinical therapist at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, which is part of NorthShore–Edward Elmhurst Health.

Note what local leaders are saying about new initiative

Jerome Kaul, PsyD, Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, NorthShore–Edward Elmhurst Health

“Suicide and deaths of despair are at epidemic levels across the United States right now. It is vitally important that the mental health profession partner with law enforcement, park districts and forest preserve districts on practical measures that can be taken to disrupt suicide attempts and save lives.”

Gina Sharp, President and CEO of Linden Oaks Behavioral Health

“As a long-standing member of the Naperville area community, Linden Oaks is pleased to partner with our colleagues to implement this innovative program. We commend the brave police officers whose efforts will be key to the success of Operation Disrupt.”

Brad Wilson, Executive Director of the Naperville Park District

“The Naperville Park District’s mission is to promote healthy lives, minds and community, and we are committed to using our resources to support this joint effort to disrupt suicide attempts and save the lives of our young people.”

Tracy Chapman, Police Chief and Public Safety Administrator for the Forest Preserve District of Will County.

“The Will County Forest Preserve appreciates the opportunity to partner with Linden Oaks, Naperville Park District, City of Naperville, and DuPage County Forest Preserve District on this important initiative. After hearing about the increase in suicides among high school students, we wanted to participate in raising awareness about this serious issue and to do our part toward opening up the lines of communication related to prevention.”

City of Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres

“This is a tremendous opportunity to use data and to work collaboratively to address a very serious problem that’s impacting communities across the country, including our own.  Our officers continue to respond to so many calls stemming from mental health-related crises involving youth, and this program’s emphasis on data and proactive policing is an innovative way to potentially make a real impact in our community.  We are proud to be a part of it.”

David Pederson, Police Chief of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

“Our department takes the epidemic of suicide among teens and young adults very seriously, and we are pleased to participate in this important new program.”

Steve Schindlbeck, Naperville Park District Police Chief

“I am very pleased to partner with Linden Oaks, as well as the City of Naperville and the DuPage and Will County Forest Preserve Districts on Operation Disrupt. Our park police officers are highly trained specialists in patrolling parks and public places, and we have a key role to play in this important effort to save lives.”

Operation Disrupt Coordinator, Naperville Park District Police Officer Thomas J. Wronski

Operation Disrupt goes into effect immediately. For additional information about Operation Disrupt, contact Operation Disrupt Coordinator, Naperville Park District Police Officer Thomas J. Wronski, (630) 791-0320, twronski@napervilleparks.org.

Naperville Park District since 1966

Historic Centennial Beach, created in 1931, commemorates the first 100 years of the City of Naperville.

Created in 1966, the Naperville Park District is an independent, municipal agency serving the recreation needs of its residents. The District is one of only 1% of park districts across the country to be nationally accredited through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). The Naperville Park District’s mission is to provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community. The District maintains and operates more than 2,400 acres with 136 parks and provides more than 7,500 recreational classes, teams, events and performances annually. Included within the District’s operations are two championship golf courses, a multitude of playgrounds, trails, athletic courts and sports fields, Fort Hill Activity Center, Knoch Knolls Nature Center, two inline skating and skateboarding facilities, Moser Tower with the Millennium Carillon, a paddle boat quarry, historic Centennial Beach, and the beautiful Riverwalk.

Linden Oaks at Edward

In Naperville, the Linden Oaks Behavioral Health Inpatient facility is located at 852 S. West Street. An outpatient clinic is located at 1335 N. Mill Street.

We specialize in the treatment of addiction, anxiety, depression, eating disorders and other mental health concerns. Linden Oaks, a part of Northshore─Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare, has an inpatient hospital on Edward Hospital’s Naperville campus and comprehensive outpatient (PHP, IOP, Counseling, and Medication Management) services for adults and adolescents in Naperville, Hinsdale, Mokena, Plainfield, St. Charles and Woodridge. For support, treatment/therapy resources and/or information on a behavioral health assessment, call (630) 305-5027 or visit lindenoaks.org

Find the message for the Circle of Peace alongside the sculpture near Linden Oaks.

Submitted by Sue Omanson, CPRP, Community Development Manager, for the Naperville Park District. (PN File Photos)

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Naperville Park District
Naperville Park Districthttp://www.napervilleparks.org/
Created in 1966, the Naperville Park District is an independent, municipal agency serving the recreation needs of its residents. An Illinois Distinguished Agency since 1994, the District is one of only 1% of park districts across the country to be nationally accredited through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). The Naperville Park District’s mission is to provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community. The District maintains and operates more than 2,400 acres with 137 parks and provides more than 1,500 recreational, arts and environmental programs and special events annually. Included within the District’s operations are two championship golf courses, a multitude of playgrounds, trails, athletic courts and sports fields, Fort Hill Activity Center, Knoch Knolls Nature Center, two inline skating and skateboarding facilities, the Millennium Carillon, a paddle boat quarry, historic Centennial Beach, and the beautiful Riverwalk.

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