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Wyoming Department of Health Seeks Community Synergy to Check Wyoming Suicide Rates

Wyoming Health Department

A 2020 Center for Disease Controlreport shows that Wyoming has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. In an effort to address the growing suicide rate in the state, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is holding a two-day symposium in Cheyenne on Sept. 26 and 27. Kim Deti, spokesperson of the department, said the aim of the gathering is to bring together people who have an interest in suicide prevention and find better ways of preventing people from taking their own lives.

“We have discussions, we have speakers to kind of go over the status of those prevention efforts in Wyoming, and kind of examine the situation for our state and options for what could be done to improve the situation,” Deti said.

Deti noted that the symposium will expose participants to suicide warning signs, promote help-seeking behavior, as well as highlight mental health resources in counties and communities around the state.

“Sometimes there are people who think that there is nothing that can be done about preventing suicide. That is not true. We want people to learn what some of the options are,” said Deti. “There’s the national lifeline that we encourage people to call who are in crisis. This summer the number for that was changed to 9-8-8. But if they are in immediate jeopardy we do recommend 9-1-1.”

The public is invited to attend, but the department is targeting those who have an interest in suicide prevention, teachers, mental health workers, law enforcement representatives, clinicians, and suicide researchers. Deti noted that the symposium is a platform for learning coordination opportunity among people working to address the problem of suicide in the state.

Friday Otuya is a master's student in International Studies at the University of Wyoming.
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