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Center for Suicide Prevention Offers Best Practice Programs Statewide


Center for Suicide Prevention
offers best practice programs statewide.
Medford, OR.– ColumbiaCare Services, Inc., a non-profit organization committed to promoting the mental health of individuals and communities throughout Oregon, launches its Center for Suicide Prevention in celebration of National Suicide Prevention Week, September 7th-13th. The Center ( offers best practice programs and consultation services to address the tragedy of suicide.
“Everyone has a part to play in reducing suicidal behavior. The Center for Suicide Prevention provides a central place to help organize those efforts across the state” says Center Director Gary McConahay PhD.
Although suicide is the third leading cause of death in the nation and is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 15-24 in Oregon, it is also recognized as one of the most preventable.  ColumbiaCare’s Center for Suicide Prevention sponsors programs created to do just that. These include:
         Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
         The High School suicide prevention program RESPONSE 
         Crisis Resolution Centers as an alternative to hospitalization
         Consultation on comprehensive suicide prevention planning
ASIST, developed by LivingWorks Education in Canada, is designed to help caregivers recognize risk and learn how to intervene to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. The workshop is for all caregivers (any person in a position of trust). This includes professionals, paraprofessionals and lay people. It is suitable for mental health professionals, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, teachers, counselors, youth workers, police and correctional staff, school support staff, clergy, and community volunteers. The program is formally designated as an ‘evidence-based program’ in Oregon and is listed on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Best Practice registry.
RESPONSE is a comprehensive high school based youth suicide awareness program that is designed to heighten awareness of depression and suicide. The program has awareness components for school staff, students and parents and requires schools to send 2 staff members to an ASIST training to prepare them to keep a student at risk safe until s/he reaches the next level of care. RESPONSE is a designated best practice and is also listed on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Best Practice registry.
Crisis Resolution Centers are local, home-like environments with 24 hour specialized staff. These Centers provide a less intrusive and far less expensive alternative to emergency hospitalization, and they promote quick connection and return to home and community services.
The Center also provides consultation services to schools, Universities, military and community organizations, hospitals, and state agencies in the effort to create suicide-safer communities. 
For more information, please contact Gary McConahay at 541-858-8170 or

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