Saturday, September 8 marks the start of National Suicide Prevention Week. To build awareness and work toward preventing suicide, and suicide attempts, the Central Oregon Suicide Prevention Alliance and community partners are coordinating several activities throughout September.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of preventable death in Oregon. In Deschutes County, approximately 29 people die by suicide each year. It is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States with one suicide occurring on average, every 13.3 minutes. Early recognition of warning signs and early intervention can save lives. The activities planned for this week will assist our community to address this important issue.
Attend one or more of these opportunities listed below to support suicide survivors in our community, and to learn more about how to help yourself or someone you love:
Out of the Darkness Community Walk
Saturday, September 8 at 10am. Pilot Butte State Park, Bend
Join thousands of people throughout the nation to raise awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. Free registration at www.afsp.org/Bend
Question. Persuade. Refer. (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training and Expert Panel
Wednesday, September 12 at 5:30pm. Nativity Lutheran Church. 60850 Brosterhous Road, Bend
Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) – three steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people are trained in CPR to help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize early warning signs, how to ask questions, persuade, and refer someone to help. Local experts will answer questions at the end of the training. The event is free and open to adults and mature adolescents. Registration required at www.deschutescountyqpr.eventbrite.com
Thursday, September 13 at 7:30-8:30pm. 520 Drake Park Stage, 777 NW Riverside Drive, Bend
The Candlelight Vigil provides an opportunity for people who have lost loved ones to suicide to commemorate their loss. Community partners will be available to provide support services, resources, and share strategies to prevent future losses. Candles will be provided.
NAMI-CO Stomp out Stigma Stomp-A-Thon
Saturday, September 15 from 2-4pm. Sky View Middle School Track Field, 63555 NE 18th St., Bend
Join the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Central Oregon’s Stomp-A-Thon and stomp around the track to Stomp out Stigma. Gather pledges and see how many laps you can walk around the track! Local providers and resources will be on hand. Enjoy music, games, and food for the whole family. All money raised will stay within the Central Oregon region. Learn more at namicentraloregon.org/stomp-out-stigma/
For more information, please contact Whitney Schumacher, Deschutes County Health Services, at (541) 322-7420.