KENDALLVILLE — As national suicide awareness week comes to a close, local health leaders want the community to remember help is always available locally for those contemplating or knows someone who is contemplating death by suicide.

The point of awareness is to learn not only that people undergoing mental health crises need intervention, but also how to intervene and prevent unnecessary death.

Indiana is no stranger to suicide. One person dies by suicide every eight hours in the state, according to data from Noble County Suicide Prevention, and people ages 45-64 are most at-risk.

“Suicide is the most preventable type of death,” Mary Lehman, leader of Noble County Suicide Prevention, said. “If people in crisis get the help they need, they will probably never be suicidal again. Asking someone directly about suicidal intent lowers anxiety, opens up communication and lowers the risk of an impulsive act.”

To intervene and get help for someone contemplating death by suicide, Lehman and her health colleagues recommend the question, persuade, refer (QPR) method of suicide prevention.

This method involves first questioning a person if they are suicidal and then persuading them to get professional help. Next they should refer or take them to get help.

“Suicide prevention is everyone’s business, and anyone can help prevent the tragedy of suicide,” Lehman said.

Help is available in Kendallville and in surrounding areas. Noble County Suicide Prevention will hold a free QPR training 9-11 a.m. Saturday at the Kendallville Public Library.

The event is open to everyone 16 years old and older. To register, call 242-2470 or message on Facebook.

Purdue Fort Wayne will also host a suicide prevention gatekeeper training Friday from 9 a.m. to noon in Ketter Hall, room G 83.

There, the public can learn about suicide prevention, warning signs and how to help someone in crisis. Walk-ins are welcome, or email to register.

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