West End Suicide Prevention expands LIVE campaign across U.P.


UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) — West End Suicide Prevention (WESP), facilitated by Great Lakes Recovery Centers (GLRC) is partnering with several Communities that Care Coalitions and other GLRC programs to bring the LIVE campaign across the Upper Peninsula. 

LIVE is a positive mental health campaign that encourages individuals to LOVE (yourself), INCLUDE (others), VALUE (life) and ENGAGE (community). 

The LIVE campaign was introduced to the west end of Marquette County in September of 2019. 

“People from outside the county had requested that they could have LIVE in their communities as well,” said Amy Poirer, West End Suicide Prevention Facilitator. “So we wrote a grant proposal to the Superior Health Foundation and they funded it so that we can take it across the U.P.”

In April of 2020, the Superior Health Foundation awarded WESP a grant to bring the LIVE campaign along with suicide prevention training to other parts of the Upper Peninsula. Due to many unforeseen challenges with COVID, it has taken longer to obtain and distribute the LIVE materials than expected.

“What we were suppose to do was take it to the schools in May, which was Mental Health Awareness Month, but obviously there was no school in May so we couldn’t do that,” said Poirier.

But WESP is very happy to announce that LIVE yard signs, window decals and informational cards are now available across the Upper Peninsula – just in time for Suicide Prevention Month.

The informational cards list signs of suicide and ways that you can help someone who might be having suicidal thoughts. 

“We want to get the positive mental health message out there,” said Poirier. “We want to help break down the stigma. We want to start the conversations surrounding mental health and suicide.”

The public can request LIVE materials at any GLRC Outpatient Services locations or at the GLRC residential treatment facilities or recovery houses.

The materials are also available through the following Communities That Care Coalitions:

  • Chippewa County
  • Dickinson County
  • Gogebic County
  • Iron County
  • Mackinac County
  • Ontonagon

WESP is also partnering with the Marquette County Juvenile Courts to offer an Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR) course to Clinicians across the Upper Peninsula.

The course will be held virtually and offers a full day of training, including tools clinicians can use with their clients and a common language amongst area clinicians and emergency workers. 

Additional AMRS courses will be scheduled within the year, along with Mental Health First Aid courses, which is an 8-hour gatekeeper training for community members.

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