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MARQUETTE — While few people have the proper training to identify someone at risk for a suicide attempt, renewed discussion of these issues has led to increased funding across the state to help facilitate education and training so people can help save lives.

An example of this can be found locally with the Marquette County Health Department, which received funding from the State of Michigan for suicide prevention efforts.

The funding will be used to support activities and initiatives that target young people between the ages of 18 and 24 who are not students at a four-year university.

This is a key age group, as Marquette County has a higher suicide rate in the 18-24 age bracket than the national average.

The suicide rate in this age group from 2015 to 2019 was 20.8 per 100,000 people, compared to 13.53 per 100,000 nationally, according to the Marquette County Health Department. Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2020, nearly 46,000 Americans died by suicide and 1.2 million people attempted suicide.

The grant to the Department of Health includes funding for outreach activities, which can be crucial for young adults.

Additionally, the health department will coordinate area support groups for friends and families of those who have died by suicide.

The health department will also provide suicide prevention gatekeeper training programs to area organizations, businesses and community groups.

Guardians are people who have specific training to recognize and identify the warning signs of someone at risk of suicide. Once they realize someone is in danger, they take steps to ensure the person at risk gets the help they need. It can be considered a similar skill set to CPR in that a little training can go a long way in saving a life.

The MCHD also partners with local businesses – such as Rize Cannabis in Marquette – to provide training and information. This will help them raise awareness while keeping area residents safe.

There are resources available for companies and individuals who want to get involved and receive training. The training will teach people how to identify those at risk of suicide and how to help those at risk access appropriate care.

Companies can contact Sarah Derwin, an MCHD health educator. His email is [email protected]

Visit the MCHD website at for more information.

More resources and statistics can be found online from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, including information on continuing education, at

If you or someone you know is going through a crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Randy Crouch can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. His email address is [email protected]

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