WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4) — September is National Suicide Prevention Month and mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members have united to promote suicide prevention awareness.
The fair aimed to educate and empower the Utah community with essential suicide prevention-related resources and training, with the goal of changing the stigma that surrounds suicide and mental health, according to VBH.
Benjamin Thatcher, Chief Medical and Research Officer at Valley Behavioral Health, said the event highlighted the impact training and awareness can have on individuals, families, and communities.
“Suicide prevention education is a powerful tool in our collective efforts to save lives,” Thatcher said.
At the event, Skyline High School shared “Para Tu Salud” — a youth-led initiative dedicated to promoting health awareness in Utah communities. Additionally, community navigators were on-site to assist those participating in the fair with Medicaid enrollment and renewal, according to VBH.
The event reportedly featured guest speakers who talked to children and youth about suicide prevention, the impact on mental health and risk for suicide, gun safety, and more. Presenters focused on specific groups, including the LGBTQ+ community.
Presenters included Brooke Anderson of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; Jannah Faumuina, Director of Clinical Training at Valley Behavioral Health; Sgt. Jodie Sampson, Salt Lake County Metro Mental Health Unit; Julie Winn, VP of Children, Youth, Family, and Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services at Valley Behavioral Health; and Encircle.