Panhandle health department promotes health, education during National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

The Panhandle Public Health Department is promoting prevention during suicide awareness month.
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 4:07 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the country. It is also estimated that 20 people die by suicide everyday in the United States.

The Panhandle Public Health District is spreading hope and ensuring people have access to the tools and resources to talk about suicide prevention and seek help if needed.

“We do a monthly webinar via Zoom usually the second Tuesday or Wednesday of every month at noon mountain time and in the QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) training we learn all about the latest statistics and we share our latest resources that we have in our pandhandle area,” said Cheri Farris, Panhandle Public Health District Community Health Educator. “Additionally we have a program called “Hope Squads,” which is a suicide prevention and bullying prevention program that we have in several of our area schools in the panhandle and it also includes a QPR training component as well.”

Farris said the training is available to any organization that wants their staff trained.

“If you are not in our area you can reach out to me at 308-220-8020 and I will get you connected to the person in your area that might be able to help you because there is a statewide network of QPR trainers and suicide coalition across the state,” said Farris.

The suicide prevention hotline 988 is also another resource.

“Thoughts of suicide are symptoms just like other symptoms and health conditions, but this is a frightening and heavy topic,” Farris said. “The evidence does show that if a person is in crisis and they are able to get the help that they need, they will likely never be suicidal again so that is important to know that there is hope and there are things that we can do to just create a safety net or like a wall of resistance to suicide around the individuals, families and communities.”

The next monthly QPR webinar training is Wednesday, September 14 at noon. Register here: Or contact Cheri Farris at 308-220-8020 or to schedule a webinar or in-person training for your group or organization.

Several screening events for the documentary “My Ascension” with a panelist discussion are planned at the following locations:

Sidney Fox Theater, September 8, 2022, from 5:30-7:30 pm

Alliance Theater, Saturday September 10 at 10:00 am following the Alliance Suicide Prevention Community Walk

Scottsbluff, Midwest Theater September 27, 2022, from 5:30-7:30 pm

Bridgeport, Morrill County Community Hospital (MCCH) Training Center, Tuesday, September 28, 2022, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Alliance Suicide Prevention Community Walk along the Snake Creek Trail, Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 8 a.m.

Sidney Suicide Prevention Walk at 1100 14th Avenue, Sunday, September 18, 2022 at 4 p.m.

All funds donated to the Alliance Suicide Prevention Community Walk will go towards holding the annual walk as well as supporting evidence-based, suicide prevention programs in Alliance and throughout the Panhandle including Question. Persuade. Refer. (QPR) and Hope Squad. These efforts are coordinated by Panhandle Public Health District

If you are interested in donating to help save a life and support the evidence-based, suicide prevention programs in the panhandle, you may contact Janelle Visser at 308-760-6493.