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Suicide prevention classes next month in Merrill


MERRILL, Wis. (WSAU) -- Ministry Health Care and Lincoln County are teaming up to help fight suicide in northcentral Wisconsin.

A class on suicide prevention training will be held next month at Good Samaritan in Merrill. It's called QPR, for Question, Persuade, Refer. Tammy Boers from the Lincoln County health department says the classes will teach the early warning signs of suicidal thoughts and action. “Suicide affects everyone in the community and everyone can play a role in prevention. We need to let people know there is help available.” Experts believe that most suicidal individuals do not want to die. They just want to end the pain that they are in.

Boers says prevention is especially important for Lincoln County. "Our per rate is 16 versus Wisconsin's 11. That from one person per hundred thousand population so our rate is very high, and it usually affects people from the ages of 45 to 54 and mostly males."

Boers also says there's never any one reason why a person takes their life. "We do review all suicides in our county, and there's a wide variety of reasons that people choose to commit suicide. A lot of it is maybe not getting the help they need when they need it."

The class is being held May 13 from 5 to 6 pm. You can call the Health Department to RSVP a spot at 715-539-1373 or or email tboers@co.lincoln.wi.us by May 9.