message By IAN MINIELLY firstname.lastname@example.org
BESSEMER — The Gogebic County Mental Health Facility in Wakefield hosted the Range Suicide Prevention Council on Friday. The groups discussed the combining of the Gogebic-Ontonagon Suicide Prevention Council and RSPC into one community-wide organization, according to Pat Gallinagh, of the RSPC. Crystal Suzik, parent liaison, said combining groups is much less challenging than originally thought, not requiring name adoption or legal documentation because they are combining resources and agencies with an existing community group. “The goal is to eliminate the stigma associated with suicide and bring awareness to people,” Suzik said. She said the public is invited to be part of the council, while Gallinagh expressed Monday, “Better mental health and suicide prevention go hand in hand.” Gallinagh said joining the groups together will better help spread the weight among people and grow membership. The group discussed the “Do It For Daniel” film that was shown to local schools and the public Monday in Hurley. Missy Lane, from mental health, coordinated the planning required to bring the film here for local kids to view. According to Suzik, Gogebic County ranks seventh worst in the state for suicide, while Ontonagon County is first. The RSPC is hosting a “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” event May 24 in Wakefield. The council encourages support for the event to help break stigmas and discrimination associated with suicide and mental illness and to encourage schools to bring in students. Community members and groups are also encouraged to walk. Likewise, the September “Break the Silence and Walk Through the Pain” walk at Gogebic Community College is scheduled for Sept. 9. The RSPC discussed potential grant availability for the training the “Trainer for Mental Health First Aid: effort. The council is giving two classes in April to train kids at Bessemer and Hurley to be mental health first responders.