Marquette County suicide prevention group forming

substance abuse coalitionConcerned Marquette County residents are forming a volunteer organization to address the issue of suicide in the community.

The Marquette County Suicide Prevention Coalition will have its first meeting on Wednesday, February 19th at noon at the MARESA building in Marquette. Many health care and human services organizations have been invited to join the new group.

“We do have some folks that are going to come that were directly affected by suicide,” Marquette County Health Department health educator Sarah Derwin said. “They’ll be important voices on the coalition and to kind of help guide some of our work.”

A number of Marquette County Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention Coalition members will likely join the suicide prevention group as well.

“We don’t have a lot of folks (in the area) that work specifically in suicide or in suicide prevention,” Derwin said. “Luckily, though, we have a community that’s ready and a lot of the different agencies and organizations know the reach of it, and they already feel like they know they want to be involved in it.”

The substance abuse coalition is also providing a $500 mini–grant to NMU to help bring in anti–smoking activist Patrick Reynolds to speak on campus. He’s a grandson of tobacco company founder R.J. Reynolds.