Many Montanans are deeply touched by someone’s suicide. Year after year, Montana has one of the highest rates of suicide deaths in our nation. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Montana Chapter addresses suicide prevention in many ways including education and training programs. Two examples of education programs created by AFSP are Talk Saves Lives and More than Sad: Teen Depression, which include DVD and/or PowerPoint presentations. Both emphasize that suicide is preventable.
Talk Saves Lives is a one hour program designed for various audiences 15 years of age and older. It introduces and provides a basic overview of suicide prevention. Risk factors are outlined and warning signs are described. If/When there is concern about someone who might be at-risk, participants are encouraged to reach out, listen, convey caring, be calm and non-judgmental. Of importance is to take the person seriously and ask directly about thoughts of suicide. Resources for help are offered.
More Than Sad: Teen Depression is an educational program for many. Part One, More than Sad: Preventing Teen Suicide, provides an overview of causes of teen suicide. This 26-minute video shows behaviors that may demonstrate depression in teens and positive responses by friends/family/school staff. It was developed to be shown to teens in classroom setting, and the main message to teens is “if you see yourself or someone you know in this presentation, tell someone; depression is a medical condition that can be treated and life improved.” Part Two, More Than Sad: Teen Depression is a companion video for counselors which focuses on major depression, a significant risk factor for suicide in both adolescents and adults. It describes how depression can manifest in teenagers. Recently a power point program was created for sharing in conjunction with the Part One video to parents and other adults. These programs focus on the serious problem of youth suicide, the second leading cause of death among teens in the United States. This program was developed to help teachers, other school personnel, teens and parents to learn more about youth suicide and their roles in prevention. Resources for help are offered. For more information and power point programs, please visit MoreThanSad.org.
Several training programs addressing suicide prevention are also provided by the AFSP Montana Chapter. These are called ‘Gatekeeper trainings.’ The term ‘Gatekeepers’ refers to those who try to keep the gate closed to possible suicide. Gatekeeper trainings inform of suicide risks and warning signs, and appropriate responses/interventions for at-risk persons. The AFSP Montana Chapter organizes and presents various Gatekeeper trainings. These are basic trainings for any audience 15 years of age or over. Trainings vary from 90 minutes to three hours to eight hours. Gatekeeper “Trainings for Trainers” also are available, both for lay and professional people who are dedicated to teaching these classes.
For more information, please visit www.afsp.org
To schedule education or training programs in your area, please contact: Montana@afsp.org or Fredricka Gilje at 406-690- 2939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.