National Suicide Prevention Week begins this Sunday, but as one of my co-workers recently stated in a meeting "every week is suicide prevention week in Montana." For many years, Montana had the most suicides in the country, in 2020 we've fallen to a close #3 behind Wyoming and New Mexico, and there is still a great amount of work to be done to improve mental health in our state.

When people think of suicide prevention and who helps someone in crisis, you think of a counselor, a teacher, a close family member, what never really occurs to most is that adolescents in crisis are likely more comfortable sharing their feelings with a peer. Somebody around the same age who they can confide in and really be honest with. But do teenagers actually know how to handle the situation? Regardless of age, most people do not know how to react when somebody says they are suicidal, or are feeeling like they might hurt themselves or someone else.

With this in mind, Missoula's All Nations Health Center is hosting a "QPR" (Question, Persuade, Refer) suicide prevention training for Native youth ages 15 to 24-years-old. It's 90 minutes that could save a life. The training on Tuesday, September 8th will give participants the tools to respond if they are concerned about a friend or family member. The class will take place at the Payne Native American Center on campus from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and space is limited in order to be appropriately socially-distanced in the classroom, also, masks will be required. Please contact adouglas@allnations.health to sign up.

If you are in crisis and want help, call the MT Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7
1-800-273-TALK
(1-800-273-8255)
Or text “MT” to 741 741