Suicide prevention conference brings UP communities together

MARQUETTE — Nearly 100 people turned out for the first annual Suicide Prevention Conference at the Holiday Inn on Monday. The event was hosted by Dial Help with collaborative effort from health educators from around the U.P.

The goal of the conference was to decrease stigma and increase awareness by mixing experts on the topic with community members.

The conference kicked off with a keynote speaker, Dr. Mike Hogan. With over 35 years dedicated in the field, he focused his presentation on how health providers should be dealing with suicidal people.

“Many of our efforts on suicide prevention weren’t as effective as they could be. We see this because the rate has gone up. I’ve had the opportunity to work with other people to look at what could be done in health care,” Hogan said. “We know a lot about what’s effective that we’re simply not yet applying. It’s a privilege for me to work on this and try to bring this message to health and mental health providers.”

After Hogan’s speech, attendees split off into sessions that focused on suicide prevention techniques aimed at special groups of people and within the general community.

The conference was made possible by the Superior Health Foundation who awarded Dial Help a $150,000 grant to build and strengthen suicide coalitions in the U.P.