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safeTALK : Suicide Alertness for Everyone Training

Kapuskasing, Ontario—Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Porcupine Health Unit will be hosting a free public safeTALK workshop on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

safeTALK is a training program that teaches individuals to help prevent suicide by recognizing warning signs related to suicidal thoughts. Participants will also learn to connect someone in need with the right care. According to Joanne Bennett, a Public Health Nurse with the Porcupine Health Unit, there are a number of mistaken ideas surrounding suicide, leading people to miss, dismiss or avoid these “invitations for help”.

“The purpose of safeTALK isn’t to make people suicide experts, but rather, it teaches community members that anyone can become more alert to the possibility of suicide and can learn to follow the steps outlined in the training,” states Bennett. She adds, “safeTALK helps to increase your comfort in talking about suicide. You don’t need to be a healthcare or social worker: anyone can learn the steps”.

Registration for safeTALK is free, but must be done before the May 9, 2017, deadline. “This is an opportunity for everyone 15 years of age and older to help make our community suicide-safer,” explains Bennett. She says to contact the Porcupine Health Unit or to visit the safeTALK page to register for the upcoming safeTALK session.

The Porcupine Health Unit is located in Northeastern Ontario, serving the entire Cochrane District and Hornepayne, in Algoma District. The main office is located in Timmins, Ontario, with branch offices in Cochrane, Hearst, Hornepayne, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Matheson, Moosonee and Smooth Rock Falls.