September is Suicide Prevention Month in Clearfield Co.

Pictured, in back, is Mary Brown, BH program specialist with Community Connections, with Commissioners Tony Scotto and John A. Sobel (front). (Photo by GANT News Editor Jessica Shirey)

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield Jefferson Suicide Prevention Team’s 10th annual Walk for Suicide Prevention & Awareness will take place Sept. 8 at EJ Mansell Stadium, beginning at 1 p.m.

This event will kick-off Suicide Prevention Week featuring keynote speaker, Jeff Yalden. He’ll headline the week-long event to be held Sept. 8-12 in the two counties.

On Tuesday the Clearfield County Commissioners proclaimed the month of September as Suicide Prevention Month at the request of Mary Brown, BH program specialist with Community Connections.

According to a previously-published press release, Yalden serves as a leading authority on teen motivation and is a renowned expert to school communities for teen mental health awareness, suicide crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

Yalden himself lives proudly with mental illness.  Diagnosed with major depression, anxiety, bi-polar type 2 and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, he’s transparent and authentic regarding his personal journey with self-care, therapy and medication.

As a keynote speaker, he “dives right in, helping people and communities in their daily struggles and to guide them toward real solutions for the challenges that come their way.”

Also, Yalden takes research, statistics and clinical information and communicates it to non-clinical professionals in a practical, engaging and user-friendly manner.

The Clearfield Jefferson Suicide Prevention team will present three opportunities for communities to hear Yalden’s message.

Yalden will speak at DuBois Area High School on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m., Brookville High School on Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. and Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High School on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.

In addition to the community events, Yalden will also present assemblies for students respectively on each day, plus at Curwensville Area High School on Sept. 12.

For more information or to make a donation, please visit 1istoomany.org or follow Clearfield Jefferson Suicide Prevention Team on Facebook.

For more information on Yalden, please visit thejyf.org.

The Clearfield Jefferson Suicide Prevention Team Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the occurrence of suicide in the two-county area.

According to information provided by Brown, the team provides a Healing After Suicide Loss support group. It meets every fourth Monday, from 5:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., at Penn State DuBois.

Meetings are held in the Quiet Lounge, and light refreshments are provided. If interested, please RSVP to Brown at mbrown@1istoomany.org or at 814-371-5100, Ext. 330.

Brown said Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training is also available to individuals and groups of all sizes. The training session usually lasts 90 minutes and is free of charge.

As a QPR-trained gatekeeper, you will learn to: recognize the warning signs of suicide; know how to offer hope; and know how to get help and save a life.

According to information provided by Brown, warning signs of suicide include:  direct and indirect statements and access to an identified plan (gun, rope, drugs).

Other signs include mood swings, hopelessness/helplessness; giving away personal possessions; increase drug/alcohol use; saying goodbye; and preoccupied with death.

If you have questions or concerns for yourself, friends or family, please call the Clearfield Jefferson Crisis Hotline at 1-800-341-5040 or 911. The hotline is available 24 hours a day.

Any group interested in having a QPR Training is encouraged to contact Brown at mbrown@1istoomany.org or at 814-371-5100, Ext. 330.

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