BRATTLEBORO, Vt. – Two free Suicide Awareness workshops will be held in September, specifically for individuals who own firearms. Held in two locations, Rutland and St. Johnsbury, the one and one half hour workshops are sponsored by the Vermont Gun Shop Project. Refreshments will be served and attendees have the opportunity to win a $100 gift card to Cabelas just by attending.
The Rutland workshop will be Sunday, Sept. 18, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., at the Rutland Country Club, and the St. Johnsbury event will be Sunday, Sept. 25, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., at the Fairbanks Museum.
The Vermont Gun Shop Project is a suicide prevention and awareness partnership between the Vermont Department of Mental Health, the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Gun Owners of Vermont, and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center.
Based on a model pioneered in New Hampshire and spreading to other states such as Tennessee and Colorado, the Gun Shop Project hopes to increase community knowledge that gun deaths in Vermont are primarily suicide deaths, that suicide can be prevented, and that gun-owners are often the best people to reach out to other gun-owners and help them remain safe when they are going through hard times.
The workshops will focus on separating facts from myths about suicide; basic skills in broaching the topic of depression, suicide, and guns with friends and family who may be going through a hard time; and how to assist people in finding help. The vast majority of suicide-attempt survivors do not go on to die by suicide.
Walk-ins are welcome, but people who register in advance will receive two entries into the Cabelas gift card drawing. Registration is available at the following link: www.healthandlearning.org/events/.
These workshops are designed for gun-owning individuals. If you are a non-gun-owner and wish to attend, please contact Alex Potter at the Center for Health and Learning, 802-254-6590.
If you are feeling suicidal, or are concerned about someone else, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org to text/chat.