Services Departments Government

From: Scott Anderson, Clackamas County Health, Housing & Human Services Department, 503-655-8752

09-28-15

Clackamas County

Media and Interested Parties

Youth Suicide Prevention Forum set for Oct. 7

A Youth Suicide Prevention Forum will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 7 in the auditorium of the Providence Willamette Falls Community Center, located at 519 15th St. in Oregon City. The forum will kick off a new suicide prevention initiative in Clackamas County.

"This is a call to action," said Galli Murray, Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator for Clackamas County. "On average, we are losing one person per week to suicide in our county, a tragedy which is preventable. It is time to start a dialogue throughout our community about suicide because suicide prevention is everybody's business."

Speaking at the forum will be state and local specialists from the behavioral and public health fields, including Donna G. Noonan, Amy Baker and Susie Schenk, along with youth who have encountered issues with suicide. Noonan is a Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator at Oregon Public Health Division; Baker is a former Suicide Prevention Coordinator for Washington County Mental Health; and Schenk is the Lead Crisis Clinician for the Clackamas County Behavioral Health Division's Centerstone Urgent Walk-in Clinic.

Also speaking at the forum will be Cody Welty, a 20-year-old psychology student at Western Oregon University. At age 17, Welty began suffering from depression. Active in athletics and leadership activities, Welty seemed and looked happy to those around him. However, Welty was mired in depression. He eventually received the help he needed through counseling and is now thriving after learning how to talk about emotions and to ask for help when he wasn't doing well. Welty uses his struggles to speak out about depression, what it feels like and how to combat it. He has told his story to students in high schools and middle schools to help students learn about the challenges they may face.

The event is sponsored by the Youth Service Provider Network (YSPN) of Clackamas County. YSPN facilitates a monthly informational forum on a variety of youth-related topics. The forum draws a variety of individuals including service and health care providers, school staff, individuals with related life experiences, and members from the faith community. It is an open forum and free to the public.

For more information, members of the media and public may contact Scott Anderson, Community Relations Specialist, at 503-655-8752 or sanderson@clackamas.us.

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