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We can prevent suicide

While September is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Month, groups in Northeast Michigan are recognizing the year-round responsibility of saving lives by offering suicide prevention training this month.

As Lifestyles editor Darby Hinkley informed us in a recent edition, Abundant Life Christian Guidance will offer two sessions of its training, Supporting Life Throughout Suicidal Crisis, once from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 11 and again from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 15. Registration is required by today and can be had by calling 989-590-7449 or emailing abundantlifecg@yahoo.com. Cost is $45 per person.

Meanwhile, Partners In Prevention will offer an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) on Oct. 15 and 16 for $50 per person. Register by emailing with the word “training” in the subject line to carlene@nemcpi.org or by calling 989-356-2880 or 1-800-354-2880.

And the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is launching its #BeThere campaign to encourage friends, family, and colleagues of veterans to learn the warning signs of suicide and to support those who may be in trouble. The VA also offers a crisis line 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255, by texting 838255, or online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.

We encourage anyone who can to attend one of those classes. If you can’t, we encourage you to follow this guidance from the Mayo Clinic if you think a friend or loved one is contemplating self-harm:

∫ Ask questions, such as, “How are you coping with what’s been happening in your life?,” “Do you ever feel like just giving up?,” or, “Are you thinking about hurting yourself?”

∫ Learn the warning signs of suicide, such as your friend talking about suicide or death, obtaining the means to take his or her own life, such as buying a gun or stockpiling pills, withdrawing from social activities or having mood swings, or increased use of drugs or alcohol.

∫ If you’re concerned, get help right away by calling 911 or calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK.

We all can be lifesafers. Let’s take care of each other.

(THE ALPENA NEWS)