Friday, April 16th, 2021

Suicide Prevention activities in the county

Posted: Friday, August 7, 2015

The Youth Services Bureau (YSB) and the Teen Suicide Prevention Task Force have been providing suicide prevention activities in Huntington County since 2009.

“The community has worked very hard at developing a comprehensive, community approach to teen suicide prevention,” stated Liz Learned, director of the Department of Child Services and a task force member. The community approach has two specific objectives; the first is to provide community education to both adults and youth on the warning signs, risk factors and appropriate action steps when dealing with a youth who may have suicide thoughts.

“This is an issue we must not ignore. The more people that know the warning signs and risk factors, the more likely we are to get the appropriate help to those in need before thoughts of suicide are the only way out,” stressed Shelly Snyder, director of the Huntington Bowen Center and task force member.

Community education is provided to adults through a suicide prevention training called QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer). The training covers statistics, warning signs, risk factors, how to talk with those who may be contemplating suicide and where to get help. The class is free and offered by the Youth Services Bureau. The next class will be held on August 25, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Youth Services Bureau’s office located at 1344 Maple Drive. Call the office at (260) 356-9681 to register or email

“We can tailor the trainings to meet the needs of organizations, businesses, churches and others interested. We can even host the training at their location,” stated Jan Williams, director YSB.

Youth are provided the information through the Life Lines curriculum. “In Huntington County all seventh graders received this education, as well as the Freshman Mentors at Huntington North High School. In addition, individual classrooms also provide this information to their students,” shared Trace Hinesley, director of Special Services with HCCSC and task force member.

This training can be provided to youth groups, youth organizations, businesses. In 2014, over 100 adults received the suicide prevention training and over 1,890 adults and youth received suicide prevention educational information.

In addition to community education, the second objective is to provide youth with immediate assistance. The Youth Services Bureau has trained staff on call at all times to respond to youth in crisis. By contacting the Safe Place crisis phone at (260) 530-7676 the youth will be provided with caring, supportive staff who can immediately assess the situation and access the community protocol to help ensure the youth’s safety. In 2014, 48 youth utilized the protocol.

To schedule training contact the Youth Services Bureau at (260) 356-9681. To learn more about the suicide prevention efforts in Huntington County contact the Youth Services Bureau or Bowen Center at (260) 356-2875.