Suicide prevention features training, vigil

Clarion, Pa.- The Clarion Coalition for Suicide Prevention hosted its first prevention training and risk identification seminar on Sept. 10. A Suicide Prevention Day candlelight vigil concluded the day’s activities at Hart Chapel.

The Clarion Coalition for Suicide Prevention consists of representatives from an assortment of concerned agencies including Clarion University, Clarion County Mental Health, Clarion Psychiatric Center and Service Access and Management. According to the 2011 survey of the American Association of Suicidology, there is a suicide completion every 13.3 minutes in the United States, in addition to a nonfatal suicide attempt taking place every 32 seconds.

The candlelight vigil program at Hart Chapel consisted of opening remarks, music, a small service and remarks on how suicide effects everyone. The vigil was funded by the donations of many individuals and companies, their funds directly supporting the prevention cause. This money will also go toward the continuing effort to pay tribute to anyone who is touched by the effects of suicide.

Organizer and Student Support Assistant Counselor Tom Crissman said, “I think suicide prevention and risk assessment are very important, not only on this campus but nationwide.” As such, everyone who notices signs of suicide or depression in anyone, friends and strangers alike, should take action. Plans of action could be from giving someone a meaningful pep talk to letting a suicide agency or community advisors know about the concerned individual.

Suicide is a problem, one that the staff and community here are looking to attend to. “‘If you can do better, you’re obligated to try to’ is the thought in the back of our heads,” said Crissman, regarding what prompted the multiple groups to take more deliberate action in educating the public regarding outlets for counseling, prevention and risk identification this past August.

The program is looking toward continuing its events annually and making outreach programs easily accessible and known. If you are suffering from thoughts of suicide, depression or anxiety, do not hesitate to contact Clarion University’s Counseling Services at (814) 393-2255 to schedule an appointment Monday through Friday. Walk-ins will be taken on crisis situations, and emergencies can always be handled 24/7 at the community crisis intervention line at (814) 226-7223.

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