Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Suicide Prevention Summit Impacts a Global Community

More than 200 people from around the globe gathered in Ft. Collins to learn how to use new technology and innovative strategies to help those most at-risk for suicide.

The title of this year’s Bridging the Divide: Suicide Awareness and Prevention Summit was, “Meeting People Where They Are: Innovations to prevent suicide where we live, learn work and play.” Attendees from as far as Guam, Spearfish, NM and Havre, Montana representing more than 75 organizations came together to learn from nationally recognized suicide prevention experts, and from each other, about how to prevent deaths by suicide in their community.

Overall, summit participants shared that Dr. Alan Wolfelt’s opening keynote presentation was “eye-opening” and “much needed” for suicide survivors. Learning new and innovative ideas for meeting people where they are and supporting grief from suicide is useful for the suicide prevention community.

“Grief related to suicide death is complicated and sometimes not dealt with appropriately by those who have experienced a suicide in their family,” said Taylor Moore, Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention. “We were excited to have an expert in grief to shed light on how we can work through the bereavement process.” 
Participants also learned how innovations in technology support suicide prevention efforts to reach out to those that are most at-risk for suicide by meeting them where they are.  
"We can’t always wait for those at-risk for suicide to come to us for help. We have to find new ways to reach them, wherever they are," said one summit participant, "Meeting people where they are, whether at work, in school, or in their community, will lead to preventing more suicides."
Preventing death by suicide takes a community coming together to make a difference. That's what the Bridging the Divide Summit was all about, uniting stakeholders and community to advance statewide and national efforts to increase awareness about suicide prevention to reduce deaths by suicide. 

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