Brown County Coalition for Suicide Prevention receives state award, hosts first event
BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Brown County Coalition for Suicide Prevention is hosting its first event Saturday for mental health awareness month.
The coalition has been in place for 15 years and members are also being recognized for the work they’ve done around suicide prevention.
“It’s ok to not be ok and it’s ok to reach out for support and help because things will get better,” said Kim Sandstorm, chair of the coalition.
That’s the message members have been spreading since 2006.
This year the group received the “HOPES” award at the annual Prevent Suicide Wisconsin conference.
The award is given to an organization helping educate and prevent suicide in a community.
“We have the QPR training, which is question, persuade and refer and that’s educating the community on how to talk with people if they are expressing those thoughts. We’ve trained over 12,000 people in our community with that, and we’ve also trained more than 3,000 youth on the signs of suicide,” said Sandstrom. It’s efforts like this that earned the group the award.
The group is also working on a hands-on community project and is a finalist to receive funding from S.O.U.P which stands for Support of Urban Projects. A micro grant given out by the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce committee of Current Young Professionals.
“We’re going to build these planters, and it’s not just a planter, it’s a symbol of being mental health friendly, saying we are willing to talk about mental health and the words are going to be on there, ‘Hope Grows Here,” said Lori Cuene, outreach coordinator for the coalition.
People will be able to learn more about the project at the coalition’s first ever community event at the Neville Public Museum on Saturday, May 8.
The event is focused on destigmatizing issues around mental health.
“You think suicide prevention you think mental health, sometimes that can be kind of boggy and kind of dark; but really, the more we normalize the conversation the more likely kids are to feel ok to talking about it,” said Cuene.
The free event runs from noon to 3 p.m. and will include appearances by the Green Bay Police Department, animals from the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, activities for kids and various mental health information and resources.
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