A community approach to a community issue – suicide prevention and awareness

Tonight’s community-wide forum to address issue will begin at 6 p.m. in Queen Creek’s Community Chambers


Queen Creek Town Councilwoman Dawn Oliphant, third from left, spoke passionately Nov. 29 about the need to create a forum for a community-wide discussion about suicide prevention awareness during a joint meeting of the town council and members of the Queen Creek Unified School District Governing Board. Seated with Ms. Oliphant are, from left, Councilwoman Emilena Turley and governing board members Judah Nativio and Jennifer Revolt. (Independent Newspapers/Wendy Miller)


The loss of life is tragic. Suicides not only leave grieving family and friends, but a community wondering if there was something that could have been done or said to prevent the tragedy.

Sadly, individuals committing suicide is not unique to Queen Creek, Arizona, or even the United States. And even more heartbreaking is the national increase in suicides.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 24 percent increase in suicide rates from 1999 to 2014.

To help raise awareness of this important issue, the Queen Creek Town Council proclaimed September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

We heard staggering statistics in the proclamation — suicide is the leading cause of death for 10- to 14-year-olds in Arizona, and the second leading cause for 15- to 34-year-olds.

We wanted to do more, which is how we arrived at the Community Forum series. The first will take place today — Thursday, Nov. 30 — and focus on suicide prevention and awareness.

The education and outreach taking place in the schools is outstanding, but there cannot be enough awareness on this topic. The community forum provides one more venue for family and friends to learn about the warning signs and available resources.

We appreciate the partnership with Banner Ironwood to host this forum. They have the expertise to provide a thorough panel on this topic, and if we reach just one person by providing information to family and friends, it is worth it.

The community forum will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, in the Queen Creek Community Chambers Building at 20727 E. Civic Parkway.

(Read details about the community forum)

For more information, visit QueenCreek.org/Calendar.

Queen Creek Town Council member Dawn Oliphant
Queen Creek Town Council member Julia Wheatley

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