Community comes together to address mental health issues

July 11, 2017

Be one of the first in our community to be trained in QPR - a highly-effective suicide prevention program. QPR - which stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — is just 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide.

Register now for our first, in-person QPR Training, which will take place on Thursday, Aug. 17 from 4-5:30 p.m. in Room #LL14 at the Washington County Government Center, 14949 62nd St N, Stillwater. The training will be led by Dr. Renee Penticoff of Penticoff Community Counseling.

Space is limited to the first 80 registrants. Additional sessions may be added, if needed. Parents, teachers and those working with youth (coaches, scout leaders, youth ministers, etc.) are encouraged to be trained in QPR.

Can’t attend this session? Don’t worry! Washington County will also be offering online QPR training sessions later this year. Watch for more details. 

Local Mental Health Resources:

  • Canvas Health, 651.777.5222
  • Family Means, 651.439.4840

  • Youth Service Bureau, 651.439.8800

  • Center for Grief, Loss, and Transition, 651.641.0177 

 Other Resources:


Background on the district's mental health initiative

Death by suicide is something that occurs in all communities. It doesn’t discriminate. Many of our students and families have been impacted by suicide in some way. It is a harsh reality, and it is something we cannot choose to ignore.

School district leaders have been approached by dozens of community partners - from mental health professionals and doctors to police officers, pastors and parents in recent months. They’ve all had a common question ... “What can we do?” 

The outpouring of support has been incredible. But even more incredible are the resources being offered up and the ideas being generated. There is a very real and urgent desire to join forces and develop an initiative to drive change in our community.

The district, in partnership with Washington County, held the first Community Conversation on Students' Mental Health Needs on June 21. A group of more than 60 people came together to talk about the many challenges facing our students - from depression and anxiety to chemical dependency and suicide - and identify the mental health resources available, as well as the gaps that exist within our community. 

Feedback gathered during this conversation will be used to help community leaders develop a plan to provide training, resources and support to all who work with our youth, and give people the resources to identify and address issues before it is too late.

Future Activities:

  • Community Conversation #2 - Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 6 pm. Watch for more details.

  • Together It Gets Better - 5K run/walk hosted by Suicide Prevention Collaborative
    Saturday, July 29 2017 at 8:30 a.m. at Hamlet Park in Cottage Grove

  • Suicide Prevention Event featuring Dan Reidenberg with SAVE.org
    Monday, Oct. 23 (Time and location yet TBD). Watch for more details coming soon!