Category Archives: Suicide Prevention

October Learning Opportunities…

board-928390_1280Here are some learning opportunities coming up in October!

Thursday, October 13: Suicide Awareness and Prevention Workshop at Nokomis High School in Newport from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. For more information or to register contact RSU 19 Adult Education.

Tuesday, October 18: Is There a Book in You? at Warsaw Elementary School in Pittsfield from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. For more information or to register contact MSAD 53 Adult Education.

Thursday, October 27: Suicide Awareness and Prevention Workshop at Guilford United Methodist Church from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. For more information or to register,
contact Abbot Village PressCourse Providers

Real Estate related:

Friday, October 7: I will be teaching the two “new” core courses (continuing education) at the Ramada Inn in Bangor. For more information or to register, contact the Arthur Gary School of Real Estate.

Saturday, October 15: I will start the Associate Broker Course at the Ramada Inn in Bangor. For more information or to register, contact the Arthur Gary School of Real Estate.

This Might Be a Record -- you don't mind a little bragging, right?:

applause-431234_1280We had a great Suicide Prevention Workshop Tuesday night… and after tabulating the evaluations I’m proud to brag that 100% of those attending agree they are more comfortable talking about suicide and feel better equipped to offer help to someone who might seem suicidal.

When asked, “What did you like best about the program?” One person replied, “The knowledge shared on a very difficult subject.” That’s especially good to hear because a goal of the workshop is to make the topic at least a little less difficult.

If you missed this free workshop, there are two more opportunities to attend:

October 27, 2016, from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. school staff, volunteers, and high school students are especially invited to attend–one reason we scheduled it as an “after school” program.

November 15, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. we’ll touch one why the holidays can be a particularly difficult time of year for ome people.

Both programs will be held at the Guilford United Methodist Church. Pre-registration is very helpful, but not absolutely required. You can register online or by calling 343-1842. If you have any questions or concerns, check the FAQ or call/email!

 

Craig Colson and I Talk…

For those who missed it “live,” here is a link to the brief talk Craig Colson and I had on the WVII Monday Noon Newscast. (I haven’t been able to embed the broadcast here… you can also find this link on Mr. Boomsma’s Facebook Page.)

I’m grateful to Craig for reaching out with his invitation and the opportunity to share some thoughts. For more information about the workshops visit the FAQ page… or just register and come! (Registration is not absolutely required–we have plenty of room, but it will help us plan handouts and seating.)

 

FAQ About the Suicide Prevention Workshops

questionsHere are some frequently asked questions about the suicide awareness and prevention workshop—with answers from Walter, the instructor. If you have a question or concern that’s not listed, send it by email!

Who should take this class?

Is there a minimum age to attend?

What does the class cover?

What is class based on?

Will the class be depressing?

What are some reasons people don’t take the class?

What are some reasons people do take the class?

What qualifies you to teach this class?

Who should take this class?

It’s tempting to answer “everyone!” Employees of public school systems are required by law (LD 609) to complete suicide prevention training. This course satisfies that requirement. However, most adults would benefit from attending. (See “What does the class cover?”) Past classes have included volunteers, health care professionals, ministers, and individuals from many different walks of life.

Is there a minimum age to attend?

Not formally, although the material is not geared to young children (under 12). Research shows that teens often reach out to peers in times of trouble, so middle and high school students are important potential participants. I’ve had more than a few conversations with parents of teenagers, suggesting they attend together.

What does the class cover?

Major topics include “myths and facts,” recognizing risk factors and warning signs, basic intervention strategy, resources available, post-attempt strategies, and questions/answers. An important focus is on the basic intervention strategy. Among people who have attended, 95% feel more confident in recognizing risk factors and warning signs; 85% feel better equipped to help someone who displays warning signs or seems suicidal.

What is class based on?

The course is “research based” and most content results from a collaborative effort through the Maine Suicide Prevention Program, an initiative of the Maine CDC in DHHS; training offered through partnership with NAMI Maine, The Maine Medical Association, Co-Occurring Collaborative Serving Maine and Maine Primary Care Association. It is not a “touchy-feely” course but is based on facts and empirical data.

Will the class be depressing?

On the contrary, while suicide is a public health crisis, the emphasis of the class is on what can be done and what is being done.

What are some reasons people don’t take the class?

There are probably as many reasons as there are people! We suspect some people do not attend because they do not feel they are qualified to help prevent suicide. Research proves that nearly anyone can provide a basic intervention using simple techniques that include being a good listener.

What are some reasons people do take the class?

Some initially attend because of the legal requirement, but all report the material and experience is helpful and no one has ever said they regret attending. I like the analogy of CPR. When we stop and consider the number of people who are CPR trained and the lives saved as a result, doesn’t it make sense to have a similar emphasis on mental health?

What qualifies you to teach this class?

I am Gatekeeper trained and have completed the required “Train the Trainer” Program conducted by the Maine Suicide Prevention Program. While not required, I am also a NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) Certified Mental Health Specialist for Youth and Adults. I am an experienced educator and substitute elementary school teacher.