In a continuing effort to advance conversations surrounding mental health, WNMU-TV will host a “Facing Suicide: Town Hall” at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday, Sept. 27, in NMU's Northern Center. A panel of Upper Peninsula mental health professionals will discuss suicide awareness and prevention. The public is invited to attend in person or virtually at no charge. The town hall is inspired by the PBS documentary, Facing Suicide, which premiered this month.
Facing Suicide explores powerful stories of those impacted by one of America's most urgent health crises and journeys to the front lines of research with scientists whose work is leading to better prevention and treatment.
The panel of U.P. experts at the town hall will discuss sections of the film, including how to identify warning signs, and spotlight local organizations and resources that provide help and hope. These include Dial Help, NMU Counseling & Consultation Services, West End Suicide Prevention, and Northpointe Behavioral Services.
"Our partners at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Twin Cities PBS always viewed the Facing Suicide documentary as a starting point, not a one-and-done," said WNMU General Manager Patrick Lakenen. "As a supplement, they set about to identify other public media stations that could develop local suicide prevention initiatives. WNMU-TV was one of ten public media stations across the country awarded a grant to expand educational efforts in the communities we serve.
"Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States and it's no different here in the Upper Peninsula. For that to change, we must do more to remove the stigma associated with mental health challenges and with seeking help. Through the power of public media and with the help of our U.P. mental health professionals, WNMU-TV is committed to promoting suicide prevention efforts and the array of support services available across the Upper Peninsula."
The town hall will be moderated by WNMU-TV producer Mike Settles. Expert panelists participating are:
· Kristine Martens, Youth Services Coordinator and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) trainer, Dial Help, Houghton
· Christy Hartline, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Northern Michigan University Counseling & Consultation Services, Marquette
· Philip Hefner Gardiepy, Training Coordinator and Recipient Right Advisor, Northpointe Behavioral Healthcare Systems, Iron/Dickinson/Menominee Counties
· Sarah Rymkos, Project Aware Service Provider, Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District, Escanaba
· Abigail Wyche, Special Advisor, Northern Michigan University Mental Health & Wellness, Marquette