Blaine chaplain’s office The Gathering Place, local nonprofit Community Assistance Program (CAP) and Whatcom Family and Community Network are partnering to bring suicide prevention courses to teens and adults in the Blaine School District this June.
Whatcom Family and Community Network is offering its M.A.D. H.O.P.E. (Making A Difference – Helping Other People Everywhere) suicide prevention and wellbeing trainings on Saturday, June 11. The free, two-hour classes will teach anyone 12 years and older to support adolescents with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts or intentions.
Two classes will be offered 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. at the CAP building, 508 G Street in Blaine. Registration is limited to 35 people per class.
During the training, attendees will learn how to take care of their own mental health, warning signs and risk factors to watch, how to break mental health stigma, tips to talk with someone struggling, and resources to use.
“It really excites us because it’s going to be adults and teens. We’re hoping that the teens in the community see, ‘These adults came out on their Saturday to be here to receive this training and they’re doing this because they care. So maybe I can trust these adults and reach out and share my heart without judgment,’” said Joe Zaccaria, executive director and mental health coach at The Gathering Place. “That’s the most powerful thing that can happen.”
Organizers will offer a trusted adult workshop on Saturday, June 25 that will follow-up training for adults who attended the June 11 class. Local youth will lead the free, two-hour class to teach adults how to better help struggling teens and what teens need from trusted adults.
Two trusted adult classes will be held 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. at CAP’s building June 25. Registration is limited to 35 people per class.
Zaccaria said event organizers are looking for counselors that can attend the meetings for anyone who wants to speak with counselors during the event. The counselors can be school support staff, school prevention interventionists, student assistance specialists, school counselors and other mental health professionals with training. Counselors who want to help can contact Zaccaria at 360/217-9114 or Blainechaplain@outlook.com.
“When I saw this program, it was another opportunity to bring something to Blaine so that folks in Blaine don’t have to travel somewhere else to get the training and there’s no obstacle for young people who want to participate,” he said. Though taking place in Blaine, the program is open to participants from anywhere in the Blaine School District area.
To register for the classes, visit wfcn.org/youth-mental-wellbeing-calendar. People can also register by calling or emailing Whatcom Family and Community Network program coordinator Kristin Danielson at 360/738-1196 or email@example.com.
If you or someone you know is experiencing crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800/273-8255 or text the crisis line at 741-741. The free, confidential hotline is available 24 hours and available in English and Spanish.
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