February 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Armed Forces Mission will offer the Listen Learn Lead Suicide Intervention Training at the Peachtree City Library as part of the Fayette Strong Initiative. To register for this workshop, visit FayetteStrong.com and use coupon code “HOPE” for registration discount made possible through the many community partners helping to build a culture of mental health for our community.
In 2016, more than 1,000 Fayette County residents participated in AFM community briefings and 161 individuals took the intensive skills development training that is proven effective in university studies to reduce the risk of suicide.
Taught by Master Trainer Kenneth Koon, D.Min, the workshop focuses on raising awareness and providing participants with the communication tools that help individuals at risk.
Koon, a U.S. ARMY Reserve Chaplain, Executive Director of Armed Forces Mission, and 2016 recipient of the Trinity Award for Emergency Responders, has conducted nearly 600 successful suicide interventions and trained more than 7,000 individuals across the country in suicide intervention and mental health first aid.
“Our goal with the Fayette Strong Initiative is to build a culture in Fayette County that is the strongest in the state in terms of reducing suicide,” Koons said.
Suicide intervention training, much like CPR, is a first responder protocol that anyone can learn. A first responder is anyone who becomes aware of risk and can aid until qualified professional help is available.
Knowing the risk is a vital step in the reduction of suicide, as many individuals may not demonstrate obvious signs. It is estimated for example that 20 percent of teenagers will show no outward signs.
“Simply knowing the circumstances which can put a person at risk is reason enough to engage the person in conversation,” Koons said. “Doing so helps provide an installation of hope for those who may be overwhelmed with hopelessness. Through a focused effort of many working together to gain these vital lifesaving skills we can turn the tide on suicide and make Fayette Strong.”