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Lakefield Lions learn about suicide prevention

by Terry McQuitty

Members of the Lakefield and District Lions Club left last Wednesday’s meeting with more than just a little to think about.

Dr. Kerstin Kelly gave a presentation on suicide and what can be done to help prevent this epidemic from continuing.

Dr. Kelly is extremely passionate about the subject as her own daughter recently took her life. The personal experience resonated with those in attendance and brought the issue a little closer to home.

Kelly explained that she is a veterinarian with a strong personality and love for her family. The reason she is spreading the word about suicide is that she knows that it can affect anyone and certain information can help to deter those who are considering ending their own lives.

Kelly gave some statistics regarding suicide that were mind boggling. Four thousand Canadians take their own lives every year. For each successful suicide there are 100 attempts. The average suicide affects approximately 30 people. Eighty per cent of families that experience suicide do not stay together. Eight out of 10 high school students contemplate suicide and three people die from suicide every day. These were just a few of the statistics brought forward by Dr. Kelly during the presentation.

Dr. Kelly stressed that nobody is immune to pain and anyone can experience a crisis. She stressed that people should talk about their issues with friends or family, but if none of these people are available there are contact points within the community that are available such as Four County Crisis Centre.

She also suggested that if you see signs of someone who may be in this situation don’t hesitate to ask them if they are considering suicide. Kelly said that nobody ever made the decision to take their own life just because someone questioned them.

Dr Kelly in association with the Lakefield and District Lions Club is hosting a SafeTALK on Saturday, February 22 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Neil’s Pind Room in the Lakefield arena. Class space is limited with a $10 fee for adults and no charge for students. Anyone wishing to register should contact Lion Kit Martin at 705-652-1227.

SafeTALK is a LivingWorks program that teaches community members to recognize persons with thoughts of suicide and to connect them to intervention resources. Dr. Kelly is a Living Works Certified SafeTALK trainer.

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