By Emeline Rodenas
LAGRANGE — In an effort to battle rising suicide rates, Parkview LaGrange Hospital and other health organizations in the four-county area are joining together and inviting members of the public to attend free suicide prevention training this month.
The suicide prevention training is part of a larger, four-countywide campaign that started in January in LaGrange County. The county saw a significant raise in suicide rates and decided to act.
Another factor that led up to the campaign’s creation was the loss of a student to suicide at both Lakeland and East Noble high schools last year.
As a result, local health organizations in Noble, Steuben and DeKalb counties are getting involved in the campaign. Local school corporations are getting involved by training their staff members to know what signs to look for.
According to Ann Kadish, media and volunteer coordinator at Parkview LaGrange, the number of deaths in LaGrange County that are attributable to suicide have doubled in recent years.
In the state of Indiana, it is estimated that there is one suicide death every nine hours. The state of Indiana is estimated to have higher suicide rates than the national average.
The campaign started “within the walls” of Parkview LaGrange as Kadish describes it, by training EMS and first responders. It grew slowly to include other organizations such the Northeastern Center in Kendallville, DeKalb Health and other Parkview campuses in Wabash, Warsaw and Whitley County.
As a result, a “Super QPR Saturday” was organized and will take place Saturday.
The free training sessions will be held in the morning from 10 a.m. to noon and in the afternoon from 1-3 p.m.
The training offered is called “QPR,” short for question, persuade and refer.
The program uses a combination of a speaker, videos and interactive role playing to help people become more comfortable with asking tough questions. The program’s motto is: “Ask a question. Save a life.”
Training will be held at these locations from 10 a.m. to noon:
• Noble County Public Library, 813 E. Main St., Albion;
• Garrett Public Library, 107 W. Houston St., Garrett;
• New Life Tabernacle Church, 609 Patty Lane, Kendallville;
• IPFW — 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd., Kettler Hall, Room No. 146;
•YSB, 1344 Maple Drive, Huntington; and
• Parkview LaGrange, EMS Building (Main Classroom), 0982 N. 00 E. W., LaGrange.
Training will be available at these locations from 1-3 p.m.:
• Cahoots Coffee Cafe, 218 W. Maumee St, Angola;
• Children First Center, 1752 Wesley Road, Auburn;
• Parkview Regional Medical Center, 11109 Parkview Plaza Drive, Conference Room A, Fort Wayne;
• Parkview Whitley, 1260 E. S.R. 205, Classroom’s A and B, Columbia City;
• Parkview Warsaw, Parkview Warsaw YMCA, 1305 Mariners Drive; and
•Parkview Wabash, 710 N East St., Forum Classroom.
The training is open to adults 18 and older. Reservations are required.
To make a reservation, people may contact Jen Will, Parkview LaGrange Hospital community coordinator, at 463-9090 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more details about a QPR class nearby, people can call or email Connie Kerrigan, 373-7991 or Connie.email@example.com.