Monday, Sept. 5, marks the start of National Suicide Awareness Week. To build awareness and work toward preventing suicide, and suicide attempts, the Deschutes County Suicide Prevention Alliance and community partners are coordinating several activities throughout the month of September.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of preventable death in Oregon. In Deschutes County, approximately 29 people die by suicide each year. It is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States with one suicide occurring on average, every 13.3 minutes. Early recognition of warning signs and early intervention can save lives. Organizers hope the activities planned for this week will assist our community in addressing this important issue.
Attend one or more of these opportunities listed below to support suicide survivors in our community, and to learn more about how to help yourself or someone you love:
- Question. Persuade. Refer. (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training and Suicide Prevention Experts Panel
Wednesday, September 7. 6 p.m. First Presbyterian Church. Heritage Hall Room. 230 NE 9th Street.
QPR training covers how to question, persuade and refer someone who may be at risk for suicide. Participants will also learn the warning signs of suicide and how to get help for someone in crisis. Local experts will provide a presentation and opportunity for questions and answers. The presentation will incorporate concepts from QPR. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the early warnings signs of a suicide crisis and how to questions, persuade and refer someone to help.
- Candlelight Vigil
Thursday, September 8. 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. 520 NW Wall Street, Bend. Meet in grassy area.
Recognize World Suicide Prevention Day by joining in a candlelight vigil. Candles will be provided. The event is free. The vigil provides an opportunity for people who have lost loved ones to suicide to commemorate their loss. Community partners will be available to provide support services and resources and bring awareness to ways to prevent future losses.
- Out of the Darkness Community Walk
Saturday, September 10.
In participating in the Out of the Darkness Walk, you join the effort with hundreds of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds that allow American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. Contact Glenda Pinney at 541-419-5303 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- NAMI Road to Recovery 5k
Saturday, September 24.
The Road to Recovery is the fifth annual 5K fun run/walk to benefit Central Oregon‘s branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI of Central Oregon sponsors this annual 5K run/walk to benefit mental health care needs in the Central Oregon Community. For more information, or to register, visit recovery5k.wordpress.com.
For more information, please contact David Visiko, Deschutes County Health Services Health Educator, at 541-388-6606.