NAMI offers training in suicide prevention
September 6, 2018
In observance of National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month in September, the southwestern Washington chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI SW WA) developed a community-based program asking individuals to make a pledge to ask about suicide.
"Our ASK Campaign invites individuals of all ages in our community to begin paying attention to one another," Marketing Manager Angela Swanson said in a press release. "Recent data show a 25-30 percent increase in the number of suicides occurring throughout our SW Washington region over the previous years."
NAMI has scheduled community events, including one in Cathlamet, in which people can participate.
The campaign asks individuals to take the following pledge:
-- Ask a direct question about suicide when they are concerned about someone.
--Ask for help when they feel overwhelmed, hopeless, or suicidal.
--Offer or seek non-judgmental support.
--Be kind to oneself and others; lift up life!
The campaign is designed to encourage individuals to look out and care for others, as well as, to reach out and ask for help and support when they personally feel overwhelmed by life circumstances.
"We invite everyone to join us in making a pledge to ASK about suicide," Swanson said. "Officials in our service region are making proclamations and pledging to ask as well."
ASK events are:
--Cowlitz County: September 11, 7-8:30 p.m. at The Grove Alliance Church, 2116 E. Kessler Blvd., Longview.
--Clark County: September 12, 2018, 6:30–8 p.m. at the Clark County Council Chamber (6th floor) Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver.
--Skamania County: September 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hegewald Center, 710 SW Rock Creek Drive, Stevenson.
"Our goal is to have 5,000 individuals commit to the ASK pledge," Swanson said. "Please consider inviting volunteers from NAMI SW WA to show people how to take the ASK pledge."
NAMI SW WA has been working in Southwest Washington for over 40 years and is an established 501(c)3. The organization's mission is helping all people affected by mental illness through education, support and advocacy. It is the only NAMI affiliate in the nation state-licensed to provide behavioral health services for those with Medicaid.