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Suicide prevention program next week
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The Dawson County School System will host a workshop next week on suicide prevention and awareness that is open to parents, as well as the community, in an effort to offer a greater support system for individuals who are struggling with mental health issues like depression.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Dawson County High School Performing Arts Center.

"The effects of suicide are far reaching. It is not isolated to one person, one family, one peer group, or one colleague group. It affects an entire community. As such, it is important for us to come together as one community to learn about early detection, warning signs and treatment for depression and other mental disorders," said Janice Darnell, director of student support for Dawson County Schools. "We hope this workshop will be informative and helpful as we work together in partnership with parents and the community."

In June 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released National Vital Statistics reports.

Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in 2014, according to the report.

It was also the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-24 that same year. For people aged 25-44, it was fourth.

Suicide prevention begins with learning more about it, as well as the mental health issues connected to it.

Part of that is knowing how to engage in conversation with someone experiencing a mental health crisis, as well as knowing where to direct that person for help.

According to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline web site, everyone can take action by talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm and following up with loved ones.

The workshop will be a two-part event that will begin with an informational session. The second portion will focus on small groups.

Multiple mental health organizations will be represented at the event including the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, the Georgia chapter of the Suicide Prevention Action Network and Avita Community Partners.

There will also be a translator available.

To get more information regarding the event, contact Darnell at