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two diverse friends having a serious conversation

safeTALK training designed primarily for non-clinicians

Program is offered for the first time to prepare suicide-alert helpers

The “safe” in safeTALK stands for “suicide alertness for everyone.” The safeTALK program is a half-day alertness training that prepares anyone 15 or older, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper.

“Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives,” said Tim DeWeese, director of Johnson County Mental Health. “Through their words and actions, they invite others to help them to stay alive.”

safeTALK-trained helpers are prepared to use TALK (tell, ask, listen and keep safe) to recognize these invitations, engage individuals who are struggling with painful suicidal thoughts, and take action by connecting them with life-saving intervention resources.

For the first-time, the Johnson County Mental Health Center is offering a session of safeTALK specifically designed for those without a clinical background. The session is on Tuesday, April 9 from 1-5 p.m. at the Johnson County Mental Health Center (Rm. 6), 1125 W. Spruce St., Olathe. This training is partnered with the Mental Health Center’s ASIST training, which goes more in-depth into the topic. An ASIST session will be offered in August. Information about ASIST is available at jocogov.org/asist.

The cost for safeTALK is $25. Community members interested in attending may contact Jenni Leaton at jenni.leaton@jocogov.org or 913-826-1585.