June Newsletter

The Listeners Documentary

Filmmaker Bob Hurst has been working tirelessly for the past two years to open a window into the lives and empathetic minds of crisis center volunteers. Please share or donate at Bob's Kick Starter page to help him finish this very important project.

From the Kick Starter:

What if the most important conversation of your life was with a stranger?

In Fall 2013 we were invited to film the training for a new group of volunteers at the Headquarters Counseling Center in Lawrence, Kansas. After one hundred hours of training the volunteers would be ready to staff crisis phone lines, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL).

We wanted to learn about what sounded like a fascinating process, and also about how we as a society deal with mental health and the risk of suicide. We were intrigued that at Headquarters, ordinary people – in this case, mostly college students – undergo the training to answer calls.

What we filmed was a volunteer experience unlike any other. As Kristine, the lead trainer, puts it, “it’s zero to one hundred in the ring of the phone.”

Statewide Updates

Riley County

The MARPC - Suicide Prevention Initiative will be conducting a suicide training in August as part of an inservice day for teachers. They will also offer a community wide training the same evening. The training is a compilation of information from Mental Health First Aid, Youth Mental Health First Aid, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), The American Association of Suicidology, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

 This is a presentation designed to fit the time criteria with information from reputable, and reliable resources that are evidenced based.  The program, of itself, is not a designated “evidenced based practice or curriculum," however the MARPC-Suicide Prevention Initiative is making great strides in working with the schools in Riley County.

Suicide Awareness Suvivors Support Group - MoKan

SASS-MoKan had a Healing Day for survivors on April 25th in Olathe. The day consisted of listening to the Native American Flute, having chair massages, journaling, energy work, and circle dancing. A speaker was present to talk about suicide and moving forward.

The annual walk at Loose Park , KC MO is coming up on September 6. Registration is open here. Click on the walk link at the bottom of the page.

Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition

At the beginning of the year, the Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition established a monthly agenda item to involve a speaker from a local agency or group to present on their organization to the coalition. Speakers have included the Tom Karlin Foundation, Rainbow Inc., Crisis Intervention Team, Olathe Police Department-Peer Support Team & the Critical Incident Stress Management Team. This has been very well received throughout the coalition and has been a great way to highlight community partners and educate members to the resources and organizations in our community.

Shawnee County Suicide Prevention Coalition

Final edits are being made on the Coalition's Suicide Survivor booklet and they hope to have it to the printer in just a few weeks.  Likewise, a brochure is being finalized to educate adults on the need to lock up prescription medication. We've had several youth suicide attempts since the first of the year by pills, fortunately none of them were fatal.  Parents need to restrict access to lethal means.  

September 19 is the coalition's 3rd annual 5K run at the Crestview Shelter House in Topeka. The run itself will be on the Shunga Trail.  

The coalitions is collaborating with other coalitions on developing awareness materials and PSAs that can be used by any coalition in the state.  

The Board has approved a proposal by the Training Committee to sponsor 2 ASIST trainings.  Dates are yet to be determined but the coalition is looking at July and either mid-November or mid-December. The training kits have already been purchased and National Guard facilitators have offered to teach the classes at no expense, so the trainings will be free to the public.  

Andy Brown (Executive Director of Headquarters, Inc.) came to the May Coalition meeting to discuss a proposal to use Shawnee County as a project site under the federal Garrett Lee Smith funding, should KDADS receive one of the 22 national grant awards. The coalition has also been approached by a local businessman with a proposal from him to donate funds to the Coalition to continue local work on suicide prevention.  The Coalition response was favorable to both of these and will likely agree after immediate additional research and discussion.

Douglas County Suicide Prevention Coalition

The coalition is still developing formal bylaws and hopes to begin the process of formalizing 501(c)(3) status soon. The DCSPC is currently planning a large scale, county and agency-wide training initiative using the online QPR gatekeeper training. The goal is to train member agency clinical staff, faculty, and administration in healthcare and behavioral healthcare settings. The coalition is also working closely with the Johnson County and Shawnee County Coalitions in developing a statewide awareness campaign.