Traverse City Record-Eagle

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June 15, 2013

Discussion to address suicide prevention

TRAVERSE CITY — Local residents are invited to listen in and share their voices during a national discussion about suicide prevention.

The Grand Traverse/Leelanau Suicide Prevention Coalition encourages anyone interested in preventing suicide to join “Everyone Plays a Role in Suicide Prevention: Turning Strategy into Action,” a webcast on June 27 in the third floor conference room of Northern Lakes Community Mental Health, at 105 Hall St. in Traverse City.

Participants will hear from experts on the national strategy for suicide prevention from 10 a.m.-noon, followed by a lunch discussion on how to combat suicide at a local level.

“There’s going to be an opportunity for us to engage in an action session and to talk about individualized action plans to reduce stigma,” said Third Level Crisis Center Clinical Services Director Mickie Jannazzo. “Increasing people’s comfort in talking about suicide as a public health issue is a very major goal.”

The conversation kicks off 75 days of action to segue into National Suicide Prevention Week the second week of September.

The Grand Traverse/Leelanau Suicide Prevention Coalition is preparing for a robust suicide prevention week with outreach and awareness activities. Jannazzo hopes new ideas stem from the June 27 discussion.

“What we hope to have happen is that more people who are helping us with our efforts to reduce suicide rates in the region will show up ... and join us in this marathon because it really is a marathon. It takes time,” she said.

About 12 people in Grand Traverse County die from suicide each year, Jannazzo said. The coalition’s main concerns are people under 25 and working age adults.

The webcast will broadcast live from Northwestern Law School in Chicago. Speakers include Surgeon General Regina Benjamin; Richard McKeon, director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Suicide Prevention Branch; Jerry Reed, director of Suicide Prevention Resource Center; Dan Reidenberg, executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.

To register, visit thirdlevel.org and click on “Register for the 75 days of action Event.” For more information, call Mickie Jannazzo at Third Level Crisis Center at 231-922-4800.

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