“A lot of (what the bill contains) is education about the risk factors and warning signs, carrying information to encourage safe storage, and emergency plans,” Finch explained. In Idaho, the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline, located in Boise, is a separate organization working to reduce suicide. Although not affiliated with AFSP they have a team that participates in the Out of the Darkness walk in Boise. The organization closed in 2006 because of lack of funding but was able to reopen in 2012. The most recent state legislation passed nearly $1 million for suicide prevention efforts. The state funds 60 percent of the hotline’s budget. The call center is operated by 60 volunteers and is available 24 hours every day of the week. Volunteers are trained and monitored by a professional in suicide prevention. The organization aims to grow with an ambassador program to have statewide outreach, explained John Reusser, director of the hotline. “We always need people to spread information about the hotline and are trying to have an ambassador program to find events have (where we can have) representation,” he said. It is prevention efforts such as these in the two states that are eliminating the stigma of suicide and bringing mental health to the forefront. Getting recognition and support from state legislatures is important for raising awareness and getting people trained in how to handle individuals at risk for suicide.
Black Friday Sale 20% off storewide
The message we all need to share is that no one is alone and help is available. Be that person who lends an ear to someone’s problems and assist them in the direction of professional help. It’s not a simple, quick answer, but it’s a start in the conversation.
- In addition to other sales throughout the store -
“We are getting more people trained in suicide assessment and prevention. People are beginning to come together with hope and solutions to save lives,” Finch said. For more information about AFSP and Out of the Darkness walks, visit, afsp.org. For the Idaho Prevention Hotline, visit idahosuicideprevention.org or search for them on Facebook. If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255).
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Small Business Saturday - Sales throughout the store and Customer Appreciation Giveaways! 208.267.6467 underthesunidaho 7178 Main Street, Bonners Ferry, ID Open Mon-Sat Bistro serving lunch 11am-3pm
October 2016 Bonners Ferry Living Local