Men­tal-health work­shop to study sui­cide

Lethbridge Herald - - HOMETOWN NEWS - Demi Knight SOUTH­ERN AL­BERTA NEWS­PA­PERS

With men­tal health and ad­dic­tions caus­ing prob­lems for many across the globe, one or­ga­ni­za­tion is hop­ing to help make those of­ten silent is­sues a loud topic of con­ver­sa­tion with their ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness build­ing events over the past years.

By of­fer­ing dif­fer­ent pre­sen­ta­tions, ses­sions and work­shops sur­round­ing men­tal health to com­mu­ni­ties within the area, the Men­tal Health Pro­mo­tion Com­mit­tee (MHPC) of south­ern Al­berta and part­ners are gear­ing up for their lat­est event this May.

With aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tion be­ing their main fo­cus, on May 3 at the Coast Ho­tel, the MHPC will be hosting an event that will see a work­shop dis­cussing the sen­si­tive and glar­ing is­sue that is sui­cide and why so many peo­ple die this way in re­cent years.

“The Men­tal Health Pro­mo­tion Com­mit­tee of south­ern Al­berta has been ac­tive for many years now as a re­source for men­tal health and ad­dic­tions” says Tracy Har­vey, a com­mit­tee mem­ber.

“And when we talk about men­tal health and ad­dic­tion strug­gles, sui­cide be­comes a sig­nif­i­cant con­cern for a large num­ber of peo­ple.”

Part­ner­ing with the Com­mu­nity In­ter­a­gency Sui­cide Pre­ven­tion Coun­cil (CISP) this work­shop is to pro­vide in­sight into the the del­i­cate is­sue that is sui­cide, the be­hav­iour be­hind this ac­tion and the de­vel­op­ment of ef­fec­tive ap­proaches cur­rently be­ing ex­plored to at­tempt to as­sess and aid these sit­u­a­tions in the fu­ture.

Headed by Thomas Joiner, the work­shop will ex­plore the realms of Joiner’s knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in psy­chol­ogy, neu­ro­bi­ol­ogy and treat­ment of suicidal be­hav­iour and re­lated con­di­tions to share with au­di­ences his new the­ory in suicidal be­hav­iour and new ways to work with this is­sue mov­ing for­ward.

“Un­der­stand­ing more about this is­sue is crit­i­cal for ev­ery­body who has strug­gled with, knows somebody strug­gling with men­tal-health prob­lems or just the gen­eral pub­lic as ev­ery­one is sus­cep­ti­ble,” added Har­vey.

Joiner has au­thored and edited 18 books within his career, in­clud­ing one on ‘Why Peo­ple Die by Sui­cide’ in 2005 and one ti­tled ‘Myths About Sui­cide’ that was pub­lished in 2010.

The work­shop will study Joiner’s pro­posed new the­ory that sug­gests the three fac­tors mak­ing peo­ple most at risk to ex­pe­ri­ence suicidal be­hav­iour are feel­ing like a bur­den to a loved one, the sense of iso­la­tion and the learned abil­ity to hurt one­self.

Other ob­jec­tives of the work­shop will in­clude re­view­ing the ba­sic facts and risk fac­tors sur­round­ing sui­cide as well as clin­i­cal and sci­en­tific ev­i­dence that evaluates suicidal be­hav­iour.

New de­vel­op­ments to pre­vent sui­cide, treat suicidal be­hav­iour and un­der­stand­ing the be­reave­ment many face in the wake of sui­cide ex­pe­ri­ences will also be cov­ered dur­ing the work­shop.

“Right now we still have tick­ets avail­able, but we do have to cap our events be­cause the rooms only hold so many and we want to be able to pro­vide a lunch and net­work­ing op­por­tu­nity for all those in at­ten­dance as well as the ini­tial work­shop,” Har­vey added.

Part­ner­ing with dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions through­out south­ern Al­berta to pro­vide more aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tion on men­tal-health is­sues that af­fect so many, this year’s event on sui­cide is open to the en­tire pub­lic to at­tend.

Tick­ets at Eventbrite: www.eventbrite.ca/e/why-peo­ple-dieby-sui­cide-tick­ets-38594181235.

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