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Training focuses on suicide prevention

Feb 13, 2012 - By Christina George Staff Writer

Last year, there were 14 suicides in Fremont County -- three of which were youth.

The county coroner said it was a "notable spike" compared to only six in 2010. It also follows a continuous decline in numbers since a high of 18 in 2006.

The increase has gained the attention of locals who work to prevent incidents such as suicide.

Fremont Counseling Service prevention specialist Tauna GroomSmith and Northern Arapahoe Tribal Health youth suicide prevention coordinator Elk Sage are collaborating to offer training that focuses on suicide prevention.

"Elk had SafeTALK trainings last year but this year we are doing them because of the rise in suicides for 2011 locally," GroomSmith said. "We really, really want suicide-safer communities."

SafeTALK trainings were held last month and GroomSmith said given the importance of the issue and hopes of making more people aware, four more sessions are planned for this month.

She explained that "Safe" stands for "suicide awareness for everyone." TALK is an acronym for Tell, Ask, Listen and Keep safe.

"They will learn the basic steps," GroomSmith said about attendees at the sessions. "The goal is to train them to be more alert of suicides."

Sessions are appropriate for anyone 13 years of age and older and are free to the public.

"We invite parents, we invite students or youth, school staff ... caregivers of elderly or youngsters, clergy," GroomSmith said.

Sessions will be held on Feb. 20 and 21. Each session is the same and attendance is only required at one.

All trainings will be held in entertainment room at the Wind River Casino and Hotel near Riverton. Sessions on both days will be at 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Sessions are limited so GroomSmith encourages registering early.

This can be done by calling her at 349-4495 or e-mailing her at tauna@fremontcounseling.com.

Sage may be contacted at 840-3797 or at ELKSAGE76@hotmail.com.

Participants will receive a certificate.

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