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News from Wyoming Department of Health

Suicide Prevention Webinar Series Slated for March


The Wyoming Department of Health and the Prevention Management Organization of Wyoming invite state residents to join a free, three-part webinar series called “Suicide Prevention Essentials for Wyoming” planned for March.

Keith Hotle, Chronic Disease and Substance Abuse Prevention Unit chief with the Wyoming Department of Health, said each webinar will be available online and open to the public.
“Unfortunately, Wyoming has a serious suicide problem,” Hotle said. “It’s a tough reality confirmed by three decades of statistics that place our state among those with the highest per-capita suicide rates.”

Hotle noted suicide is a public health issue with broad implications for Wyoming:

·         The burden of suicide largely falls on middle-age men, who account for nearly 40 percent of all suicide deaths.

·         Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Wyoming youth, who have a suicide rate twice the national average.

·         Fewer older residents die by suicide as compared with other age groups, but their death rate is more than double the overall state rate.

·         The Native American suicide rate is 25 percent higher than for white Wyoming residents.

“In short, suicide impacts persons of all ages and races in Wyoming, and no group remains unaffected,” adds Hotle.

“We’re encouraging residents who engage with those vulnerable to suicide--youth, the unemployed; aging populations; military and veteran populations; and those with mental, emotional, behavioral or physical illnesses--to participate in the series,” Hotle said. Webinar series details include:

PART 1: Suicide Prevention: Why Wyoming? Why NOW?
The "back story" about who, what, when, where, how and why. What do the latest research and surveillance data tell us? State priorities, emerging issues and goals. With Terresa Humphries-Wadsworth, state suicide prevention coordinator; Keith Hotle, Chronic Disease and Substance Abuse Prevention Unit chief from the Wyoming Department of Health; and Erica Mathews, youth advocate for prevention, Wyoming Department of Health.
WHEN: Wed., Mar. 6, 9:30-10:30 a.m.


PART 2: Suicide Prevention: WHY do people die by suicide?
Environment, mental/emotional/addictive disorders and experience all play a role in why people die by suicide. Find out more in this compelling webinar. With BJ Ayers, survivor and southeast regional coordinator for suicide prevention; Humphries-Wadsworth; and Rodney Wambeam, senior research scientist with Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center.
WHEN: Thu, Mar. 14, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

PART 3: Suicide Prevention: WHAT must we do to save lives?
Promoting wellness to prevent suicide. Starting early. Programs and interventions with impact, and how to best move forward. With Elly Stout with the National Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC); and Humphries-Wadsworth.
WHEN: Wed, Mar. 27, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Webinars will also be archived online as recorded podcasts, but live participation is encouraged because presenters will answer questions from attendees.

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