By Michelle Bigelbach
The Courier 

Rosston Speaks on Suicide Prevention


February 14, 2018

Representatives from Valley County schools, Roosevelt County schools, Daniels County schools, FMDH, Glasgow Police Department, Valley County Sheriff’s Office, Youth Dynamics and the Glasgow Clinic attended the Northeast Montana Suicide Prevention presentation on Jan. 29, at the Cottonwood Inn.

The presentation featured guest speaker Karl Rosston, the suicide prevention coordinator from the Montana Department of Public Health and Services and MaryAnn Benz, the student assistance coordinator for the Bozeman School District. Rosston discussed facts and features of suicide in Montana as well as provided information on the “Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)” method in order to offer hope through positive action. The QPR method teaches warning signs, clues the suicidal communications of people in trouble and allows the ability to gain the skills to act in an appropriate manner to prevent a possible tragedy.

Benz discussed and provided information on the “Signs of Suicide” program to those in attendance. She has hit the ground running in implementing this program to middle and high school students in the Bozeman School District. This program is a school-based depression awareness and suicide prevention program to decrease suicide and suicide attempts by increasing student knowledge and adaptive attitudes about depression. The school representatives in attendance were able to gain invaluable insight on how to implement the program in their classrooms.

The goal of the entire presentation was to bring the topic of suicide forward and to allow those integral to the community be on the same page in terms of policies and procedures when someone is suicidal. According to Valley County Health Department’s Connie Boreson, “the presentation provided everyone to have the same voice and the same plan, establishing a foundation to help students in need.”

The presentation was coordinated by the Valley County Health Department as a result of the Community Health Assessment that occurred in 2016. After residents answered questions regarding their health, the top three areas of improvement that were prevalent were mental health, substance abuse and physical activity and nutrition. In order to improve these three areas for all Valley County community members, the Health Department applied for grant funds and was awarded one grant in the amount of $20,000 in order to split between the three health areas that could be improved upon in Valley County.

The funds used for the area of mental health helped fund the presentation for Valley County members.

Roosevelt and Daniels county members present was able to participate as a result of the funds provided by the state of Montana.

If you or who someone you know has suicidal thoughts, contact the National Sucidie Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).


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