Lewis and Clark Public Health Suicide Prevention partnered with Awareness Network to provide training on suicide and mental health.
The Awareness Network strives to raise awareness on anxiety disorders and provides scholarships for local youth to receive mental health services.
Since 2018, the suicide prevention program has trained more than 2,700 people.
Montana is currently ranked fourth highest in the nation for its suicide rate as of 2020, based on 2018 numbers from the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention. In Lewis and Clark County, 20 people lost their lives to suicide the same year.
In addition to gift cards, Awareness Network supports the training effort by advertising these associated educational opportunities. It also will provide food and beverages for participants when in-person training can safely resume.
Until that occurs, the program will provide the Question-Persuade-Refer model virtually. The evidence-based model is about two hours and educates participants on what to do if someone they know might be suicidal.
“It is so worth your time, because it's very possible at some point in your life, living here in Montana, that you are going to run into someone who is struggling. We want you to have the tools in your tool belt for that moment so that you know how to help and you know what to say," says Jess Hegstrom, the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for Lewis & Clark Public Health.
The next virtual training is May 30th, 2020. You can register on Eventbrite.