Community invited to workshop about suicide prevention, bereavement help

Karen Dillon, of Vinland, lights a candle to remember her son, Dakota Dillon Pite, who died by suicide. Her daughter, Annabel, 5, also lights a candle to remember her older brother. They were among about 30 people who participated in a National Survivors of Suicide event Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010, at First United Methodist Church in downtown Lawrence.

Karen Dillon, of Vinland, lights a candle to remember her son, Dakota Dillon Pite, who died by suicide. Her daughter, Annabel, 5, also lights a candle to remember her older brother. They were among about 30 people who participated in a National Survivors of Suicide event Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010, at First United Methodist Church in downtown Lawrence. by Richard Gwin

About 35,000 Americans die by suicide each year. That’s one person every 15 minutes.

In Kansas, it’s one person every day.

On Nov. 19, International Survivors of Suicide Day, the community is invited to attend a workshop in Lawrence about suicide prevention and suicide bereavement support.

Participants will have the opportunity to view a national broadcast of a discussion among survivors and mental health professionals. The national broadcast will be followed by discussion with a panel of survivors from the community.

Marcia Epstein, director of Headquarters Counseling Center, said participants will leave with a better understanding of the impact of suicide loss, and how to be helpful to those who are bereaved.

The event will be:

• From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19.

• At First United Methodist Church, 946 Vt., in Brady Fellowship Hall.

• Reservations are encouraged but not required, and can be done by emailing Epstein at me@hqcc.lawrence.ks.us.

Karen Smart, Lawrence, talks about her late son Jacob Wessel after attending a National Survivors of Suicide Day event Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010, in downtown Lawrence. Her son died by suicide on April 19, 2010, at age 15. She made a mini-collage of Jacob's pictures, at left.

Karen Smart, Lawrence, talks about her late son Jacob Wessel after attending a National Survivors of Suicide Day event Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010, in downtown Lawrence. Her son died by suicide on April 19, 2010, at age 15. She made a mini-collage of Jacob's pictures, at left. by Richard Gwin

Here are links to stories from last year's event:

Survivors of suicide share stories, laughs, tears.

• 62-year-old Anita Burkhalter, of Lawrence, talks about the loss of her husband after 23 years of marriage.

• 43-year-old Karen Smart, of Lawrence, talks about the loss of her 15-year-old son.

Tagged: Headquarters Counseling Center, suicide prevention, International Survivors of Suicide Day

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