Suicide prevention training program set at HCA

GOWANDA – The Healthy Community Alliance will host a safeTALK program to prepare anyone over the age of 15 to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources. The free training program is open to all interested community members and will be held in the first floor dining room at Community Place, 1 School St., Gowanda on March 4 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Suicide is a growing public health concern. In Cattaraugus County the suicide rate is 10.4 per 100,000 people, which is higher than the state average. Nationally, suicide ranks as the third leading cause of death for young people (ages 15-19 and 15-24) and suicide rates for those between the ages of 10-14 increased 50 percent between 1981 and 2005.

But most people with thoughts of suicide invite help to stay safe. Alert helpers know how to use these opportunities to support that desire for safety. As a safeTALK-trained suicide alert helper, you will be better able to: move beyond common tendencies to miss, dismiss or avoid suicide; identify people who have thoughts of suicide; and apply the TALK steps (Tell, Ask, Listen and Keep safe) to connect a person with suicide thoughts to suicide first aid, intervention caregivers.

Powerful video clips illustrate both non-alert and alert responses. Discussion and practice help stimulate learning. Participants will learn steps that contribute to saving lives. The safeTALK training is the result of some twenty years of work at learning how to develop useful suicide prevention abilities in a short program.

This training is made possible by the Cattaraugus County Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition. Space is limited so call the Alliance at 532-1010 to reserve a seat.