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Serving: MN
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LEARN HOW TO HELP: Free suicide prevention classes are offered by the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center throughout the summer.

NAMI Minnesota, UMASH offer suicide prevention classes

Registration is required for the free classes, which start July 9.

The Minnesota chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center are collaborating to host suicide prevention classes tailored to farming communities.

Wil Sampson-Bernstrom, community health educator with NAMI Minnesota, says the classes are open to anyone over the age of 16 — farmers, farm families, members of agricultural communities, suppliers, business partners and others whose lives intersect with farming communities.

“Our aim is to change the public perception in agricultural communities and better equip the community to identify and help people who may be having thoughts of suicide,” he says.

Each hour-and-a-half suicide prevention class will be based on the curriculum known as Question, Persuade, Refer. QPR is a widely taught suicide prevention program that provides emergency response training to respond to someone in crisis More than one million adults have been trained in QRP in 48 states.

Each class will be hosted by one of two community educators from NAMI Minnesota:

Kay King, older adults program coordinator and community educator. King provides mental health education, training and resources for senior workers, families and the general community. She was the executive director of a 275-person retirement community providing independent and assisted living and managed a home health care agency. Her grandmother, mother, only sibling and niece all lived or live with a major mental illness.

Wil Sampson-Bernstrom, QPR coordinator and community health educator. Sampson-Bernstrom joined NAMI Minnesota to assist in the efforts to improve health and wellness among individuals living with a mental illness, specifically in the areas of suicide prevention and smoking cessation. Living with depression, anxiety and PTSD, Sampson-Bernstrom finds his passion in connecting with community members about the important tools that can help them live happier, healthier lives.

Classes are free and require pre-registration. Participants can remain anonymous, if they prefer. A certificate of attendance can be received upon completion for those needing CEUs, he added.

To register, click on the links below.

NAMI Minnesota can also provide private classes through our grants with UMASH and Minnesota Department of Health.

For more information, contact Sampson-Bernstrom at wsampson-bernstrom@namimn.org.

If you or someone you love is struggling, please know you don't have to face it alone. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to talk to a person who cares and can help at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The lifeline provides free, confidential and emotional support to people in crisis or emotional distress.

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