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Training can empower students to become peer helpers

By Staff | Sep 24, 2020

Students’ peers might be in the best position to recognize when a friend needs help. 

To give young people ages 10-18 tools to support peers who may be struggling, Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. will hold CONNECT: Prevent Suicide Virtual Training on Sept. 28 and 30 and Oct. 2 from 3 to 4 p.m.

Participants will learn how to recognize their role as a peer helper, risk and protective factors, and warning signs for suicide.

Training can elevate students’ comfort level in knowing how to connect with those at risk and link a suicidal youth with resources.

Safe messaging guidelines will also be covered.

According to the National Association of School Psychologists, “As a peer, you may be in the best position to recognize when a friend might need help and help them get it. You may see signs in person, hear about them secondhand, or see them online in social media. Never ignore these signs.

“While suicide is typically associated with the pain of mental illness (in particular depression and associated feelings of helplessness and hopelessness), there are sometimes specific situations that trigger suicidal actions, such as breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, failing in school, being bullied, or experiencing abuse, loss or other trauma. It is important to learn these warning signs and what to do if you see any of them in yourself or a friend. Suicide is preventable. By listening, talking, and acting, you could save a life.”

To apply for the training, call Youth Services at 243-4315 or e-mail ys@meoinc.org.