Student awareness raises as Gryphon Place comes to classroom to help students cope with depression and suicide

Gryphon Place is a local crisis assistance agency with a mission to help prevent suicide. They offer many services and programs designed to help those in conflict and struggle. Additionally, Gryphon Place has educational programs for middle and high school students, such as the Gatekeeper Program and the safeTALK Program.

Students that have taken the 2019 first trimester Gatekeeper Program in Mr. Blaesser’s Health class. Photo by Brittany Wiley

According to the official website, Gryphon Place’s suicide prevention program includes a 24/7 crisis line that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  All calls are confidential, and helpline operators are all expertly trained in suicide prevention. Operators are also fully certified by the American Association of Suicidology. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center listed the Gatekeeper Program on the national Best Practice Registry.

Gryphon Place also offers a Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group. This support group is bi-weekly and devoted to those who have lost a loved one to suicide. The information included on the official site states the group provides connection and fellowship for suicide loss survivors.

They also offer a school-based suicide prevention course for middle and high school health classes. The Gatekeeper Program educates students about mental health, stress, and positive coping skills, and is delivered to over 4,000 students annually.

Furthermore, students learn about local resources, how to recognize a crisis, warnings signs, and what to do if they know someone who is having thoughts of suicide. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center listed the Gatekeeper Program on the national Best Practice Registry.

Additionally, Gryphon Place offers public suicide prevention and awareness classes. The safeTALK program “is a half-day alertness training that prepares anyone 15 or older, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper,” said Gryphon Place.

Through the course of the safeTALK participants’ training, they will learn to recognize and respond to conditions where suicidal thoughts might be present. They will also learn to abandon common tendencies, such as dismissing and ignoring issues and learn to “apply the TALK steps: Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe,”

If you or someone you know is going through hardship or experiencing thoughts of suicide and is possibly planning on acting on those thoughts, call 269.381.HELP (4357) for Kalamazoo, or your local crisis center. You can also call the National Prevention at  1.800.273.TALK.

Juan Salcedo

Juan Salcedo

Hi, my name is Juan Salcedo, and I am a sophomore at Gull Lake High School. After taking Mrs. Jolin's Multimedia and Journalism class, I found I adored writing about topics I found interesting, so taking Newspaper was a no-brainer. I look forward to writing many articles about subjects I am passionate about.

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