MARQUETTE COUNTY — September is National Suicide Prevention Month. One local health organization takes this month as an opportunity to raise awareness about suicide and to help those who are suffering.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America.
The Marquette County Health Department focuses on suicide awareness and prevention all year long, but during Suicide Prevention Month, the organization holds a number of special events to help those in need and to start conversations about this important issue.
“It really for us is a time to try to spread the message about what we do year–round,” said Sarah Derwin, a Health Educator at the Marquette County Health Department. “It’s a chance for us to highlight some of the initiatives and activities that we have in this area. A lot of the work we do, especially with training, we do year–round, but this could be the opportunity for people that might not be aware of it to come out and take advantage of some of these trainings.”
One of the events coming up this month is a Community Crisis Support 101 training program put on by Upper Peninsula crisis center Dial Health, happening tomorrow. Then later in the month, the organization will hold its 4th annual Suicide Prevention Conference as well as a gatekeeper training program. These events are open to the community. The Marquette County Health Department hopes that people will come to be educated on how to help others in crisis, or to get the resources they may not know how to access.
“We know suicide has impacted many community members up here,” said Derwin. “And it isn’t even completed suicides, but we have a lot of people that have attempted suicide up here as well. And living in a rural area that also tells us that with having limited resources, sometimes that can really put people at risk if they don’t have access to the same resources that maybe in urban areas people do. Or the fact that we would have to drive maybe seven hours for youth in–patient psychiatric care can be a really big barrier to people. So that’s why it’s really important up here in this rural area to make sure that we’re really connecting and talking with people about what we have to offer.”
If you would like more information or to get involved in any of these events this month, you can learn more here.