ISU Headlines

Suicide prevention trainings scheduled statewide in May, June

Posted May 16, 2008

The Idaho State University Institute of Rural Health and the Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health are partnering to conduct suicide prevention trainings for parents and other community members this summer.

“’Watch, Listen, Act: Three Steps for Preventing Suicide in Youth’ is designed to help parents and community members understand risk and protective factors for suicide and give them concrete steps to take to prevent suicides among Idaho’s children and youth,” said Ann Kirkwood, director of the ISU-IRH Better Todays-Better Tomorrows program and the Youth Suicide Prevention and Intervention Project.

Trainings will be held at the following locations:

• Monday, May 19, at 5 p.m. at Vineyard Boise in Boise;

• Tuesday, May 20, at 4:30 p.m. at Caldwell Library in Caldwell;

• Monday, June 23, at 5 p.m. at the College of Southern Idaho Taylor Building, Room 276, in Twin Falls;

• Wednesday, June 25, at 5 p.m. at Marshall Public Library in Pocatello;

• Thursday, June 26, at 5 p.m. at Idaho Falls Public Library in Idaho Falls;

• Tuesday, July 22, at 5 p.m. at Panhandle Health Department in Bonners Ferry; and

• Thursday, July 24, at 5 p.m. at Teweepuu Community Center in Orofino.

“It’s always exciting to partner with other organizations but in this case we are especially excited,” said Lacey Sinn, education and promotion coordinator for the Federation. “Based on current Idaho suicide statistics and the number of people calling our office for youth suicide information, this is definitely a workshop people in our state both want and need.”

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people in Idaho. Idaho consistently ranks in the top 10 of states for the rate of suicide. The trainings also will focus on children’s mental health because studies demonstrate that from 85 to 94 percent of teens who complete suicide had a mental health and/or substance abuse problem at the time of death.

Many of the signs psychiatrists and psychologists have identified for depression, anxiety, trauma, other disorders and suicide risk factors are discussed in the program. Early and appropriate treatment for children can address Idaho’s high suicide rate among young people. Untreated, these illnesses can result in behavioral problems at school, difficulty learning, low self-esteem, poor school attendance and grades, impaired social development, difficulties with law enforcement, and even death.

The Idaho Federation of Families is a statewide family-run advocacy organization. It provides support, informationp and training for families who have youth with mental health needs.

To register for trainings, phone 1-800-905-3436.