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Suicide prevention team members participate in awareness walk

Posted: Friday, Jun 28th, 2013

Members of the South Lincoln Suicide Prevention Coalition, Kemmerer High School Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force and members of the community traveled to Pinedale June 22 to participate in the Garrett’s Palms suicide and prevention walk. Pictured are Julie Welsh, Ranae Pape, Cole Stubbs, Andrew Carollo, Layne Clark, Kaisha Nielson, Steven Werner, Codi Cardenas, Katie Werner and Mike Richins. COURTESY PHOTO/Stacy Werner

PINEDALE — On June 22, members of the community, members of the South Lincoln Suicide Prevention Coalition and members of the Kemmerer High School Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force traveled to Pinedale to participate in the Garrett’s Palms suicide awareness and prevention walk.

This annual event is held to bring attention to the tragedy of suicide, and highlight prevention efforts taking place around the state by coalition members, supported through Prevention Management Organization of Wyoming and the Wyoming Department of Health.

This year, presentation guest speakers included Kaisha Nielson, a student at Kemmerer High School and Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force member, and Mike Richins, Lincoln County Coroner, who is also a member of the State Suicide Prevention Task Force and local Suicide Prevention Coalition chairperson.

Kaisha spoke about the need for youth involvement, and the great difference it can make in a community when youths are trained in prevention efforts. She also announced that, as she competes for Miss Teen USA, she has chosen Suicide Prevention as her platform. She was very motivational for the group listening as she spoke with such knowledge and compassion on this subject.

Mike Richins compared the attack on Pearl Harbor and having to fight the enemy to the need to fight suicide as an enemy of the people, and a public health crisis. He stressed the need for everyone to be involved, as suicide affects everyone in one way or another. He talked about the cost in lives, and the cost to the taxpayer, and how prevention efforts help alleviate both.

Wyoming is number one in the nation in suicide rates per capita, and efforts continue in the state to reduce those numbers, and reduce the stigma and misinformation often associated with suicide. For more information or to become involved as a member of the local Suicide Prevention Coalition, contact Brittany Ritter at (307) 390-8442 or Julie Welsh at (435) 881-4128.

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