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WILMINGTON – Trillium Health Resources is delivering 1,000 gun locks to all Departments of Social Services within its 28 county region. The gun locks will be distributed to families who own firearms along with education about gun safety.

According to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 116 North Carolina children died of a firearm related injury in 2021. Firearms are the leading cause of injury for children in North Carolina. Trillium is working to lower this statistic through this initiative.

Bladen DSS Director Vickie Smith, left, and Trillium DSS Liaison Sean Kenny

“Staff in our DSS offices are crucial points of contact for many families. We thank them for this partnership to educate our communities on safe gun ownership to reduce tragic injuries to children. We also know that by restricting access to firearms we can lessen instances of successful suicide attempts,” said Trillium Head of Social Services Engagement Sean Kenny, who is pictured above with Carteret County DSS Program Manager Kody Krebs.

Gates DSS Willie Smith and some of his staff along with DSS Board Chair Brian Rountree

Trillium’s One Community program started during the coronavirus pandemic to inform people of resources available for mental health services. One Community staff now concentrate on member outreach through health literacy and awareness.

“One Community at Trillium validates that our communities are only as strong as our people,” said Patte Whitfield, One Community Director. “We participate in local events, sharing that support is always available. We also help explain about conditions and services to improve health literacy in our region. Everyone deserves the chance to live life to their fullest potential.”

Trillium will be serving its 28 counties as a Tailored Plan starting April 1. To learn more, visit the website.

Beaufort DSS Deputy Director Lori Leggett, Social Work Supervisor Scott Cullom and staff

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