The following press release was issued by Houghton/Keweenaw Communities That Care:
Mark your calendars! Houghton/Keweenaw CTC is particiating in a suicide
prevention walk, run, or ride event taking place across the Upper Peninsula the last weekend of September.
A “torch” will travel through each county, carried by volunteers who are walking, running, or riding a bike.
The event is a collaborative effort of all 14 Communities That Care (CTC) coalitions in the UP; these coalitions work together as UP Coalition Network to plan events and distribute messaging.
“Our coalitions are really excited to work together on this project,” said Gery Shelafoe, organizer of UP Coalition Network. “Youth suicide rates have been going up for years, and we have experienced too many young deaths here in the UP. We want to create a culture where youth feel safe reaching out for help if they’re having suicidal thoughts. That starts with raising awareness about suicide prevention, and making sure adults have the skills to respond when a young person is suicidal.”
In addition to the Carry the Torch event, UP Coalition Network offers the following suicide prevention resources:
● Online resources at www.UPCNetwork.org/mbh
● Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) one-hour suicide prevention training
offered free of charge to any group (except for QPR booklets, $3 each)
● Parent cards with warning signs of mental health or substance abuse, and
resources for help
● Prescription drug disposal cards listing all the sites to safely dispose of
opioids and other outdated or unused prescriptions, and a
comprehensive list online at www.UPCNetwork.org/drug-disposal
● #StigmaStopsHere906 hashtag—share information about suicide
prevention on social media and use the hashtag to help spread the word
To get involved in this upcoming event, or learn more about the other suicide prevention efforts listed above, contact Heather Saari at (906) 482-8701 ext. 303, or visit https://houghtonkeweenawctc.com. Houghton/Keweenaw CTC has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/hkctcup.
Houghton/Keweenaw CTC is funded by NorthCare. Additional funding provided by Superior Health Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan Foundation, Heath Resources and Services Administration, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, and Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.