15 Apr 2021 | LVCC News

Suicide Prevention and Support – How Can I Make a Difference?

LVCC News | 0 comments


Video from our hosted presentation that took place on March 28th, 2021.

The presenter Ilene Rice, a retired Marriage and Family Therapist who had a private practice in Colorado Springs, CO. Rice volunteered with the El Paso County Health Department and the Suicide Prevention Partnership conducting “SAFE TEEN Youth Suicide Prevention” in area schools from 2005 to 2009. She was the keynote speaker for the 2015 Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) northeastern Minnesota Synod Convention and has made suicide prevention presentations to various groups. In 2017 she began volunteering with the El Paso County Health Department grant program for teen suicide prevention. Due to the high rate of suicide in Colorado, Rice recognized the need to educate the community about the risk factors and warning signs of suicide so friends and family members can be a source of support and help for those struggling with thoughts of suicide.

Suicide statistics for 2020 show an increase in suicides. There is little data on the impact of COVID-19, but it is obvious COVID-19 has added intense emotional and mental stress for many. Thus the LVCC decided this was a good time to sponsor this important program.

Rice said, “Many of us know someone who has made a suicide attempt or has completed suicide. Those struggling with suicidal ideation are just like you and me. They have problems; we have problems. The difference is that, for the moment, we believe we can handle our problems and do not feel overwhelmed by them. The vast majority of all suicidal people want to live—they want the pain to end. Without a basic knowledge of suicide, we may not recognize or acknowledge the warning signs. Through awareness and education, we can be a support to those contemplating suicide. We can make a difference”.

The format of the program will include introductory comments by Rice followed by questions from two panelists. One panelist is Nancy Eichholz, a retired nurse practitioner with over 40 years of experience in the medical field. The other panelist is Becky Peterson, a former pre-K through 6th grade teacher and elementary administrator with specialized training for high-risk youth facing academic, socioeconomic, and emotional concerns. There will be time for a some questions from the audience using the chat feature on Zoom.

Rice is a summer resident of Lake Vermilion and now, due to Zoom technology, she can share her expertise with those in our local communities and all others who wish to participate. To register for this free program send an email to the LVCC at vermilionculturalcenter@gmail.com by March 26. You will receive a Zoom invitation the day before the event.

The Lake Vermilion Cultural Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit that is working to restore the former St. Mary’s Episcopal Church which was built in 1889. It is located on Tower’s Main Street/Highway 169. Even though the building is still being restored the LVCC has sponsored over 40 programs including lectures, musical programs, art events and an annual dinner theater, etc.

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