By Robert Lucke
The Hi-Line Mental Awareness group was formed in 1995 in an effort to address a variety of community mental health needs, with the immediate focus on suicide prevention.
To that end, council member and Havre High School counselor Kay Nessland announced that Havre will host an innovative series of workshops at the Great Northern Motor Inn in Havre from Oct. 27-29.
The QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Institute from Spokane will conduct the three-day seminar, which, according to workshop organizers, will be an innovative series of workshops for counselors, case managers, health care providers or any person or organization interested in preventing suicide in their communities.
Hi-Line Mental Health Awareness Group asks the question: Would you give an hour to save a life?
If you said yes, then QPR training programs are for you. Each year thousands of Americans are saying yes to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling, parent, child, neighbor or student. By learning three simple steps, you can become a QPR Prevention Gatekeeper and know how to question, persuade, and refer someone in a suicidal crisis. A QPR Gatekeeper recognizes the warning signs of suicide and knows how to offer hope, get help and save a life.
The risk of suicide can be decreased if those closest to the individual in crisis recognize the warning signs and know how to help. That is why everyone friends, family members workers, teachers needs to know suicide warning signs and basic intervention steps. In as little as one hour, QPR Gatekeeper training can teach anyone the steps to help save a life from suicide. This course provides the participant with information, materials, and skills to present Gatekeeper training to agencies and communities.
In Havre, Mental Health Awareness has been working for five years to get the community to this point.
For five years we have been doing this, Nessland said. We have had presentations in the high school fall and spring. And we have taken presentations up the Hi-Line. Now, finally, we are looking at the training. That is what this workshop is all about.
The three-day workshop serves different purposes.
Really, day one and three are basic information for all day people, Nessland continued. Day two is more directed toward professionals and administrators.
The Hi-Line Mental Awareness Group has tried to keep costs down for the workshop. Day one and three are $49 each, while the cost for all three days combined is $395.99.
The committee has been going around the community getting money donated for the workshops, Nessland said, so that we can offer scholarships and encourage people to attend who might otherwise not be able to.
People interested in attending the three-day workshop or a part of it can pick up registration forms at The Havre Daily News, Northern Montana Hospital, Havre High School and the clinic. Preregistration closes on Oct. 1.
In Montana, suicide is everyones problem, committee member and NMH staff psychologist Dr. Larry Jarvis said. Montana ranks fifth per capita in suicide nationwide. And remember that suicides or attempts are permanent solutions to temporary problems.