The Edmond Sun


August 27, 2012

Faith leaders to gather for suicide prevention training

EDMOND — An Edmond church and the University of Central Oklahoma have organized inter-faith suicide prevention training to address what is the second-leading cause of death for youth age 10-24 in Oklahoma.

The free training, which will include leaders from a variety of faith communities in the metro area, will be Thursday and Friday at Edmond’s First United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St. It will utilize UCO’s Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.

Various interest groups, including UCO, Edmond Public Schools, mental health organizations and the Edmond Police Department have been monitoring the local situation. The year has seen suicides involving both youth and adults.

“The continuing education for our community is paramount,” Edmond Police Maj. Steve Thompson said. “Suicides and attempted suicides remain high, and we need to constantly get the tools out to the members of our community to help them deal with this issue.”

Ken Elliott, director of the University of Central Oklahoma’s Violence Prevention Project, said the metro area has been hit hard and been devastated by suicide, and particularly hit hard by youth suicide. Partnering with faith leaders is good for networking in doing this critical work, Elliott said. More importantly, the net of support for individuals at risk is being widened, he said.

Faith leaders can play a key role in intervention, Elliott said. Although the manner in which diverse faiths honor and practice their spirituality can differ greatly, the pain and confusion associated with suicide is a shared and common experience to people of all faiths, he said.

“Central is diverse and inclusive,” Elliott said. “As a community that reaches out to make a difference in people’s lives, we understand that none of us has all the answers.”

First United Methodist Senior Pastor Bertha Potts said many individuals are feeling discouraged and hopeless and want to end the pain. Leaders in the faith community encounter many people in numerous life situations and they have a witness to make, Potts said.

“This is a starting place, not an end-all,” she said.

Elliott said UCO’s Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training is a research-based intervention model that has been adapted and revised for nearly 20 years. The ASIST curriculum has been successfully used all over the world and has been used extensively throughout Canada and the United States.

Knowing how to recognize the signs and direct those at risk to the right resources can potentially lower the statistics, Elliott said. Training would ultimately benefit the entire community, as it will result in a network of inter-faith partners intent on saving lives no matter the person’s belief system, he said.

Anyone can be at risk, according to information from UCO. Men, women and youth of all ages, all occupations, all socioeconomic groups and all faiths are at risk. There is no guarantee of safety from suicide. The key to suicide prevention is trained caregivers who are ready, willing and able to get involved with each individual at risk — caregivers who can recognize individuals who are at risk and who know how to intervene to prevent the risk of suicidal thoughts becoming suicidal behaviors.

Topics covered will include attitudes and hopes, an introduction to prevention, postvention and intervention, the burden of suicide, connecting with persons in crisis and discussion of feelings, experiences and suicide first aid. Attendees will also explore safety plans.

To learn more about the ASIST program and other counseling services at UCO, call Ken Elliott at 974-2388, send him e-mail at or visit |

341-2121, ext. 108

Text Only
  • Crazy spring weather brings frantic pleas

    It was a bright and sunny Saturday morning. Tulips were blooming, squirrels were all a’skitter, my allergy-prone nose was running ninety-to-nothing, and workmen were in my yard leaning on rakes at $18 an hour. You might know I’d be anxious to remedy that! They were waiting to get started on spreading 60 bags of mulch, which I was belatedly on my way to reserve and pre-pay so they could pick it up and get started. Rush ... rush ... rush, and oh my aching back.

    April 19, 2014

  • Oklahoma History Center new home for Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame

    The Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame has a new home at the Oklahoma History Center. Created in 1999, the hall of fame, operated by the Oklahoma Military Heritage Foundation, has been housed the past several years at Oklahoma Christian University but there was no available space to display photographs and information on the inductees.

    April 18, 2014

  • pink.jpg Local children win Edmond Sun Easter coloring contest

    Two local children were named winners of The Edmond Sun’s Easter coloring contest. At left, Madsion Porter, 4, daughter of Tracy Porter, won a princess Easter basket, which included a tiara, tea set, stuffed bunny rabbit and chocolate rabbit. At right, BriAnna Harbaugh, 9, daughter of Leslie Haubaugh, won a Hello Kitty Easter basket, containing art supplies, a Hello Kitty stuffed animal and a chocolate bunny.  The families also received a three-month subscription to The Edmond Sun. For your own subscription to The Edmond Sun, visit, call 341-2121, or visit 123 S. Broadway.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Annual Turkish art and food festival set for April 26-27

    Raindrop Foundation is a nonprofit cultural organization that seeks to promote friendship and understanding through shared understanding and community experiences. This free event is set for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 26 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 27 at 4444 N. Classen Blvd., Oklahoma City.
    This year Raindrop Foundation will bring cultural entertainment and education to Oklahoma City area by presenting the Annual Turkish Art and Food Festival. The festival will feature Turkish folk dances, traditional music, water marbling art, whirling dervishes, calligraphy, traditional art of felting, China pieces as well as original arts and crafts for sale to the public.

    April 18, 2014

  • Health seminar focuses on Oklakhoma’s high suicide rate

    OU Outreach and Norman Regional Health System are offering a new health seminar titled “Circle of Care Methodology: Risk Assessment and Prevention of Suicide.” The seminar will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 24 at the Norman Regional Hospital Education Center. Suicide touches many people’s lives. This seminar focuses on the Circle of Care Methodology, which engages a holistic and mitigating approach to the issues and care that is required to address suicidal ideations, attempts, completions and the aftermath.
    The cost is $45 per person, and seating is limited. There will be free parking onsite for all seminar attendees. For more information, visit

    April 18, 2014

  • Film documentary explores hunger in America

    The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma will host a screening of the 2012 documentary, “A Place at the Table,” at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Food Bank Volunteer Center, 3355 S. Purdue, Oklahoma City. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The story documents the struggle of food insecure people in the United States.
    Author Joel Berg will be present as a featured guest. Guests also will have the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion about the issue of hunger in our communities. The screening is free, but seating is limited to 275 people. For more information, go online to

    April 18, 2014

  • Nominations being accepted for Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame

    The Oklahoma Military Heritage Foundation is accepting nominations through June 1 for inductees into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame. Oklahoma veterans including Medal of Honor recipients have been being honored by the hall of fame since 1999. A banquet and ceremony honoring those selected this year for the hall of fame will be Nov. 8 at the Tower Hotel, formerly Marriott Hotel, at 3233 Northwest Expressway in Oklahoma City.
    Nominees can be living or deceased. Nomination forms can be obtained by writing to the Oklahoma Military Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 30658, Edmond, OK, 73003; or on the foundation’s website at

    April 18, 2014

  • Annual wheelchair basketball tournament set

    OU Medicine will present the 6th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, benefiting the Greater Oklahoma Disabled Sports Association, April 24 at Oklahoma City University. Teams from OU Medicine administration, anesthesiology, neurosurgery, nursing, otolaryngology, surgery and urology, and a team from 180 Medical will compete in 10-minute exhibition basketball games against wheelchair athletes from GODSA. All participants will compete in wheelchairs.
    The free event will begin at 5:40 p.m. at OCU’s Freede Wellness Center, 2501 N. Blackwelder Ave. Fundraising activities including a silent auction, baked goods sale and more. Funds will help GODSA athletes purchase sports equipment and travel for national basketball tournaments. For more information, call 271-6900.

    April 18, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 18, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 17, 2014