Monday, August 29, 2016

Library Hosts Suicide Prevention Series for Teens and Parents

More than 41,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States. Over 1,200 of those suicide deaths occur in Georgia. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in teens and young adults aged 15 to 24.

While statistics like these from the National Institute of Mental Health describe a stark reality, there is hope. The Forsyth County Public Library is partnering with Suicide Prevention Action Network, Georgia (SPAN-GA) to offer a series of workshops and support groups to help teens and parents recognize the warning signs of suicide and how to support people affected by a recent loss.

Sheri McGuinness, President of SPAN-GA,
will lead a series of Suicide Prevention
 workshops at local libraries.
The first workshops will be held over Labor Day weekend, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 3 at the Hampton Park Library. The second workshop will include a support group session and meet at the Post Road Library on Sunday, September 4 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Another Suicide Prevention workshop will be held at the Sharon Forks Library on Thursday, September 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Each program will be led by Sheri McGuinness, President of SPAN-GA. She will share information about understanding prevention, knowing what to do when a friend or family member is in trouble, how to support someone affected by a loss, and wellness and self-care.

McGuinness recently launched her first book, Choosing Hope Finding Joy, which chronicles her personal journey navigating through trauma, grief, and loss. She is a Survivor Services Specialist and has created strategies to develop services and support for survivors of a suicide loss in communities throughout Georgia.

“SPAN-GA’s mission is to raise awareness and break the stigma associated with suicide and mental health,” says McGuiness. “While these programs are not intended to be a form of counseling or treatment, participants will learn to recognize the warning signs of suicidal behaviors and communications and be prepared to act to prevent a possible tragedy.”

These workshops are designed for teens and their parents to take a serious look at suicide. The workshops are free and no registration is required to attend.

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