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Pleasanton church hosting suicide prevention, awareness workshops

Dual event Aug. 1 geared toward teens, parents of middle- and high-schoolers

Next month, St. Augustine Church & Hall in Pleasanton will host suicide prevention and awareness workshops for teens and parents.

The two sessions will run simultaneously from 7:30-9 p.m. Aug. 1 at the church at 3999 Bernal Ave., with one for adults and one for middle and high school students. They will be led by officials from Crisis Support Services of Alameda County and hosted by the Catholic Community of Pleasanton (CCOP). All Tri-Valley residents are welcome.

The purpose of the event is to teach community members tools to help someone at risk of dying by suicide, according to CCOP youth group and confirmation coordinator Nicole Browne. In an email, she said as a CCOP coordinator and parent of three children, she has “watched too many families struggle with mental health issues alone.”

“Sometimes, unfortunately, the results are very tragic with the death of a young person in our community by suicide,” Browne said. “I personally have spoken with teens contemplating suicide or suffering after a friend or acquaintance has died by suicide. Because of this, I began researching and learning more about what I could do to help.

“I knew we needed to do more to bring this topic out into the open, so parents and teens don’t feel so alone in their struggles and others feel like they know what they can do to help,” she added.

The workshop for parents, which will be held in the church, will teach them about suicide and how to recognize warning signs in their child. It is geared toward parents of middle and high school aged children.

It will also go over risk factors and information on available community resources, including the county’s 24-hour crisis line.

The workshop for teens in St. Augustine Hall will teach them how to help a friend who may be experiencing depression and recognize the warning signs that indicate a person may be at risk of suicide.

“Because we are fortunate to be a large church in town with a lot of space on our campus to host this event, I decided to have an evening that the teens and adults could learn at the same time,” Browne said.

“Our hope at CCOP is that anyone in the Tri-Valley will attend this event if they are interested,” she continued. “We want to keep the conversation going about the importance of mental health and learn how we can help anyone contemplating suicide to get the help they need to feel better.”

For more information on the workshops, visit CCOP online.

Editor's note: Anyone in need of support can contact Crisis Support Services of Alameda County’s 24-hour confidential crisis line at 800-309-2131 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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