Mercy Hospital Joplin joins with community partners to host a two-day Suicide Awareness and Prevention Conference for members of the community, educators, mental health professionals, law enforcement officers, suicide survivors and anyone whose life has been impacted by suicide.
“Our nation’s suicide rate has increased for several years, despite more Americans taking antidepressants than ever before,” said Tamon Paige, M.D., Mercy Clinic Behavioral Health psychiatrist. “Conferences like this help us raise awareness and understanding of suicide, saving lives and improving the appreciation for life held by our community and nation.”
The conference will open with a community night at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9, and will be led by a panel of health care professionals and community representatives. The second day of the conference will begin at 8 a.m. Friday, May 10. This day of training will allow professionals, suicide survivors and others an opportunity to learn more and take action.
The community night will be held at College Heights Christian Church, featuring Howie Nunnelly as the master of ceremonies. Day two conference events will be held in the Billingsly Student Center at Missouri Southern State University. Shawn Shea, M.D., an internationally acclaimed speaker on suicide prevention, will be the keynote speaker.
Douglas Walker, Ph.D., chief programs director at the Mercy Family Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, helped organize the conference in Joplin this year. He added, “Mercy is committed to the goal of eliminating deaths by suicide in the communities that we serve. The Joplin community night and conference are examples of this commitment.”
Community partners include MSSU, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, The Alliance of Southwest Missouri and One Joplin. In addition to speakers and education sessions on Friday, each participant will receive a free lunch.
Advanced registration is required, with online registration available at Mercy.net/ZeroSuicide. For more information, call 417-556-2260.