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MSU to host lecture, workshops on suicide prevention

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PHOTO COURTESY OF PEXELS.COM

BIG SKY YOUTH EMPOWERMENT

Over the last 17 years, nationwide suicide rates have increased by over 61 percent, despite boosted efforts in suicide prevention.

Suicides jumped from 29,180 in 1999 to 47,173 in 2017, a differential of 17,993, more than the populations of Whitefish and Livingston combined.

According to Dr. John Sommers-Flanagan, the increase coincides with increased federal, state and local suicide prevention activities. 

“Even in the face of vigorous and well-intended suicide and intervention efforts, suicide rates continue to rise, at an average of 2 percent per year”, Sommers-Flanagan said. “The needle keeps moving in the wrong direction.” 

With nearly 30 years of suicide prevention experience, Dr. Sommers-Flanagan is offering a series of public suicide prevention lectures along with workshops for professionals throughout the state of Montana, sponsored by Big Sky Youth Empowerment, a Bozeman-based nonprofit. The lectures and workshops will take a novel approach to understanding suicide, with an emphasis on strengths, resilience and a debunking of several problematic suicide myths.

The first public lecture will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on May 16, in Montana State University’s Student Union Board Ballroom D, and the first professional workshop will held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on May 17 in Room 165 of MSU’s Norm Abjornson Hall. Public lectures are free, and the workshops are $100 for 6.5 hours, $50 for students and unlicensed participants.

For more information, visit https://go.byep.org/advances.

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