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Suicide Prevention

Central South Dakota Survivor of Suicide Support Group

Suicide survivors go through the same grief process as other people do, along with additional problems due in part to the trauma or stigma that often accompany the death of a loved one by suicide. In a support group, people learn from and reassure each other through sharing experiences and feelings. They discover that what they are experiencing and feeling are normal responses any person would have in similar circumstances.

Our goal is to bring together people who have suffered similar losses. The Survivors of Suicide Support Group provides a safe place where you can share experiences and support each other on the journey toward healing.

We meet the 14th of each month at Capital University Center upstairs in the boardroom at 6:30 pm. If you are interested in finding out more about the Survivors of Suicide Support Group, please call Julie Moore at 605-224-3451 or email us.

Step Forward to Prevent Suicide Walk and Run

The first ever Step Forward to Prevent Suicide Walk and Run was held September 8, 2012 far exceeded expectations. Over 400 participants took part in the event, helping to raise over $18,000 for suicide prevention and intervention in Central South Dakota. The money raised through the event has helped sponsor a two-day ASIST training, for QPR training and suicide prevention and intervention talks with youth groups and schools including Jones County, Stanley County and White River. The donations have also funded the start up of Central South Dakota Survivors of Suicide Support Group as well as the distribution of over 40 Surviving After A Suicide information folders and promotional material with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Suicide Prevention Trainings

Avera St. Mary's Foundation provides three different training options: ASIST, QPR and suicideTalk.


Participants learn how to: recognize invitations for help, reach out and offer support, review the risk of suicide, apply a suicide intervention model, link people with community resources. ASIST provides practical training for individuals seeking to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. Participants often include: people concerned about family or friends, natural helpers and advisors, emergency service worker, counselors, teachers and ministers, mental health practitioners, workers in health, welfare or justice community volunteers

Both trainings (ASIST and suicideTalk) were developed by LivingWorks, an internationally acclaimed agency dedicated to suicide prevention and intervention.

What makes ASIST different?

CONNECTING: Connecting gives individuals an opportunity to clarify and examine their own attitudes toward people
exhibiting suicidal behavior. Through connecting, individuals can overcome attitudinal barriers that may hinder their
learning and their helpfulness.

UNDERSTANDING: Viewing a suicidal situation through the eyes of an at-risk person helps individuals understand how to take care of that person's concerns. Participants practice how to apply their understanding in simulated scenarios involving suicide risk.

ASISTING: Participants learn the Suicide Intervention Model as a framework for understanding the process of suicide intervention. They also intensively apply suicide first aid, including connecting, understanding, and assisting skills in intensive practice situations.

For information on when the next training is email us.


What is QPR

QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer – three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide. QPR is a one- to four-hour suicide prevention training workshop and an emergency response system designed to save lives and reduce suicidal behaviors. This training is suitable for a number of people and organizations including mental health professionals, schools, religious groups, military personnel, parents, nurses, physicians, first responders, community volunteers or anyone in a position of trust.

Why should my organization use QPR?

Experts agree suicide is a preventable form of death, and that lives can be saved with the implementation of comprehensive, evidence-based suicide risk reduction strategies. Participants first learn about the nature of suicidal communications, what forms these communications take and how they may be used as a stimulus for a QPR intervention. They are introduced to the research support for QPR to prevent suicide. Enhanced skills training across the spectrum of service organizations, business and industry staff and other community members can dramatically lower the risk that a community member will attempt or will die by suicide.

What will QPR participants learn?

To identify and refer individuals at-risk for suicide To serve as crisis intervention volunteers within family, social and work groups in which they participate To use a “best practices” method of suicide risk assessment and management To understand the causes of suicide, how intervention and treatment saves lives, and how to enhance protective factors that help prevent suicide among their acquaintances

What is the cost of QPR training?

The 1-2 hour training is provided free of charge.


suicideTalk is a 90-minute session that invites interested community members to become more aware of suicide prevention opportunities in their community. Dealing openly with the stigma around suicide, this exploration focuses upon the question, "Should we talk about suicide?"

As a suicideTALK-informed session member, you will be better able to:

  • understand how personal and community beliefs about suicide affect suicide stigma and safety
  • appreciate how the steps taught in suicideTalk can be used to help prevent suicide
  • choose among ways to help protect, preserve, and promote life in a suicide-safer community

suicideTalk can be customized for any community. Intriguing questions and a number of handouts stimulate learning.

Discover commitments that you want to make. suicideTALK will be offered periodically throughout the calendar year.

Please contact Julie Moore 605-224-3451 or email us.

Trainings can also be arranged specifically for your organization.

Avera St. Mary's Walk of Hope 2018

Walk of Hope 2018

Join us in raising awareness about suicide and mental health and instilling hope in those who have lost a loved one.

Register Now

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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