Around 20 Washburn community members attended the Southwest Coalition of Excellent Decision-Makers (COED) suicide prevention town hall meeting on June 2.
"We wanted the community, parents, teachers and students to have a greater understanding and awareness to identify individuals who are at risk and be able to ask questions, be direct and intervene," said Josie Stubblefield, who served as the project coordinator for a grant SW COED secured for the event.
Dr. Brian Petrovitch, of the Center for Psychological Health and Well Being, shared social and environmental triggers, such as bullying, divorce and addictions. He also shared warning signs, conversations that should happen if signs are identified in an individual and resources to help with suicide prevention.
In February, the SW COED received a $1,900 grant from the Missouri Department of Mental Health to fund suicide prevention training in the Washburn and Southwest communities.
"The goal of this grant is to enhance the skills of teachers, administrators, counselors and pastors on how to recognize and respond to the signs of suicide while also educating students on distinguishing the signs of suicide," said Kati Rose, SW COED member.
In addition to hosting the town hall meeting, students in seventh through 10th grades attending the Southwest R-5 School District participated in SOS (Signs of Suicide) training, and Southwest faculty members completed QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) training in May.