Letter: Program today chance to discuss suicide prevention

From: Nicki Vreeland


September is Suicide Prevention Month. On average, one person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes. Over 50 percent of all suicides are completed with a firearm. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds and the second leading cause of death for 24- to 35-year-olds.

To address the concern of the suicide in our community, there are several events happening in the coming weeks and months to raise awareness about suicide and the role the community can plan in prevention.

From 7 to 8:30 p.m. today at Columbus North High School’s cafeteria, the program “Suicide … Let’s talk about it” will provide a night to discuss suicide. Professionals will be on hand, including Columbus Regional Health, to present community services and resources. On Thursday, counselors and therapists will be available at local middle and high schools to address any students needing assistance.

Columbus Regional and Healthy Communities will be offering training on Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM) from noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 26 in Kroot Auditorium and Columbus Regional Hospital. Anyone wanting to attend (it is open to the public) should email Karen Nissen ([email protected]) in advance to ensure sufficient materials and lunches are available.

The class Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis. In Mental Health First Aid, you learn the risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.

Mental Health First Aid will be offered again on Dec. 8. Please contact Melissa Newland, Centerstone, at Melissa.Newland @centerstone.org for more information or to register.