Mental illness support group hosting suicide-prevention program

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DIXFIELD — The National Alliance on Mental Illness Family Support Group will host a public forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, to discuss suicide prevention and awareness with parents, school staff, businesses and organizations.

It will be held in the cafeteria of Dirigo High School.

Dottie Adams of Hanover, who works with the NAMI Maine Combined Support Group in Rumford, said this is the first time the group has done a public presentation in the region.

“We were looking for ways to get out there, speak to people and lessen the stigma of mental illness,” Adams said Monday. “We decided that for our first educational night, we would focus on suicide, as it’s such a part of this area. We’re hoping to help people understand it a little better.”

Adams said Heather Carter, a NAMI Maine suicide prevention senior trainer, will speak about beliefs about suicide, how to talk about suicide, warning signs and risk factors, basic intervention skills to use with suicidal behavior and resources for help.

According to a news release, Carter ran an award-winning program focused on youth suicide prevention within high-risk populations and has many years of experience working in mental health prior to her work in public health education.

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Adams said if this program goes well, she’s hoping the NAMI Family Support Group will be able to discuss more mental health topics in the future.

Refreshments will be served.

For more information on the program, call Adams at 364-2197, or 1-800-464-5767, ext. 305.

mdaigle@sunjournal.com

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