Guam- The Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center and Connect have teamed up for a special three day suicide prevention training at the Westin Resort.
The training kicked off Tuesday with faith leaders, national guardsmen, firefighters, police, mental health professionals and other community partners coming together to address the issue of suicide loss on Guam. Connect Prevention Specialist Ann Duckless says suicide is a very complex issue and a taboo topic that people don’t feel comfortable talking about. However, she says they want to encourage people to discuss it openly.
Duckless also says suicide rates among Native Americans, Hawaiians, Alaskans and other native populations are higher across the United States. Since suicide is the 5th leading cause of death on island, she notes this is something that must be considered when looking at best practices.
“Being sensitive to those cultural kinds of factors can really help play a part in understanding what are the best practices we need to know as Guam in terms of being able to turn around a suicide death in the community,” said Duckless. “And instead of not talking about and putting people at greater risk, to be able to talk openly about it and to be able to provide that kind of safety net.”
Duckless adds the suicide prevention training is focused on “training the trainer.” She says this will enable Guam to localize its training, train others and build capacity to respond better to suicide loss in the community.