Monday, November 2, 2015

Attention Pagan Community Organizations: Suicide Awareness Training Nov 6

One of the things that many of the members of the Pagan Societies and Communities in Metro Detroit and elsewhere will be experiencing for the next few months is what we call the Holiday blues.  Whether through loneliness, an event, distancing from family, or all kinds of ongoing factors lead to it, this stress can sometimes lead to those dark places that can be fatal for many of us.  To end a life, to consider suicide, is the ultimate act of violence and despair.  If you are a Pagan community leader in Metro Detroit, there is a resource you can take advantage of by sending yourself, or one of your members to training on suicide awareness this Friday called safeTALK Training.

The  safeTALK (Suicide Alertness for Everyone) training will be held at American Indian Health and Family Services. A training that is about 3 hours long, it will teach participants 
  • to recognize people who may be at risk of suicide
  • how to open up discussion
  • keep them safe 
  • refer them to appropriate services
There are openings for 30 people for this training.  This will not lead to certification, but will prepare folks are are in attendance for situations that they may face.  This writer has been through the actual 2 day course and is certified for the next three years as a Gatekeeper, and has found it highly useful.  It is being placed in this column in order to plead with the local groups and individuals in our community to take advantage of it.

Over the last year, it has been a very rough time for many in the communities.  That 3 a.m. clergy call and text and chat have been hot.  And on a personal note, this writer has to say that we have fallen down on the job.  Why?  Because we are not taking advantage of the resources out here that are available to us. 

Repeatedly, I have offered, as have others, to put together resource binders and seminars for the local groups.  Whether because of politics, disorganization, or just plain being overwhelmed by a seemingly enormous undertaking, people have not taken what is offered.  It does not have to come from me.  There are dozens of folks in our community that are here to help and train.  And it doesn't take a Masters Degree either.  Learn to use the people you have before they walk away.   Because knocking your head against a brick wall gives one a headache.  Serve your people.

American Indian Health and Family Services has the course scheduled for 1 – 4 p.m. Friday, November 6, 2015. If you have questions or would like to register, contact Karen Marshall at or at (313) 846-6030, ext. 1404.  They are located at 4880 Lawndale St, Detroit, MI 48210.

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