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Idaho State University

Awareness to Action Youth Suicide Prevention Project offers free training Sept. 8 in Boise

July, 2, 2010

Idaho State University’s Institute of Rural Health will offer training Sept. 8 on how to advocate for suicide prevention in an "Awareness to Action Academy" for professionals, caregivers, community leaders, parents, survivors of suicide and all those who work to reduce Idaho’s

high suicide rate.

The training, held in conjunction with the Idaho Suicide Prevention Action Network’s 10th Annual Suicide Prevention Conference, will be at Boise First Community Center, 3852 N. Eagle Road, Wednesday, Sept. 8, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The preconference session is free and open to the community. The full conference carries a fee. Click here to register for the sessions. Seating is limited so preregistration is required.

The preconference workshop is designed to lead attendees through best practices for planning and implementing programs for community change. The presenter is Shel Gross, director of public policy for Mental Health America of Wisconsin since 2000. He currently serves on the Legislative and Policy Committee of the Wisconsin Council on Mental Health, is a board member of the Wisconsin Prevention Network, past co-chair of the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations, and represents the MHA on Wisconsin United for Mental Health, an anti-stigma initiative.

Gross holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has more than 35 years of experience in the mental health field

.The event is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services through ISU-IRH’s Awareness to Action Youth Suicide Prevention Project.

“Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Idaho youth aged 15 to 34,” said Ann Kirkwood, director of the ISU-IRH project. “Idaho had the tenth highest suicide rate in the nation in 2006, 36 percent higher than the national average. With skills gained in this workshop, people can address the high suicide rate by encouraging residents to take on projects for community change.”

For more information, contact Ann Kirkwood at (208) 373-1767 or (208) 861-0429.