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Jan 17
PTK to host suicide prevention seminar

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Attending an upcoming presentation at North Platte Community College could save a life. 

That's what members of NPCC's chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society are hoping for. They are hosting a Suicide Prevention Seminar from 1-3 p.m. on Friday in the McDonald-Belton Theater on NPCC's South Campus. The program is free and open to the public. 

It's the second year PTK has organized the seminar, but the first time the community has been invited to attend. 

"We do a project every year that is designed to unite the student body and bring something to the college that we see as a need," said Amy Taft, PTK president. "This time around, we chose suicide awareness because we want to keep our students and community members safe." 

The seminar will be led by Dr. Brenda Petersen, a certified master trainer and spokesperson for The National Council for Behavioral Health's Mental Health First Aid and Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) programs.

Petersen travels the nation building mental health literacy and helping the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and mental health crisis - both of which can lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. 

"Suicide is a contagion," said Petersen. "It's becoming an epidemic. The more we talk about it, the more we educate the public - the better the chance of someone recognizing the early warning signs and stepping in to offer help and hope." 

She said that in many cases, when people considering suicide receive the help they need, they don't reach that level of disparity again. 

Her program at NPCC will train participants to recognize the warning signs of suicide, teach them how to offer hope and show them how they can provide help that could save a life. 

Those who attend the seminar will receive a three-year certification from the QPR Institute. More information about suicide prevention is available by contacting Shannon Sell at Region II Human Services at (308) 532-4860. 

Heather Johnson
Area Communications Specialist

Heather produces and distributes press releases for the college. She began work at MPCC in 2014. Prior to that, she spent five years as the news director/web manager for Eagle Radio in North Platte. From 2009-2014 she worked as a reporter/photographer for The North Platte Telegraph. Heather has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chadron State College.

Brent L. Cobb
McCook Community College News Bureau Coordinator​​​