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June 13, 2011
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Upstate’s Clergy Day looks at suicide prevention June 16

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Upstate Medical University will host members of Central New York’s spiritual care community for an intensive training program to learn effective strategies to help people who are having thoughts of suicide. The annual Clergy Day activity is June 16.

The program, “SafeTALK: Suicide Alertness Training for Effective Ministry,” is sponsored by Upstate Medical University’s Center for Spiritual Care. It will be offered at the 19th annual Rev. Jerry Shave Clergy Day, June 16 at the OASIS/Healthlink Learning Center, 6333 Route 298, East Syracuse. Sam Catroppa, upstate coordinator for Suicide Prevention for the New York State Office of Mental Health, will present the program.

“Many people who are thinking of suicide give indications,” said Rev. Terry Culbertson, Upstate’s spiritual care manager. “This training will provide clergy, seminarians, chaplains and lay pastoral caregivers with the skills needed to effectively deal with this issue that many of them face on a daily basis. It will also teach them how to handle their own emotional response to the situation.”

The SafeTalk program, created by the Suicide Prevention Center of New York state, trains individuals to be better able to move beyond common tendencies to miss, dismiss or avoid suicide; identify people who have thoughts of suicide; and apply the TALK steps (Tell, Ask, Listen and KeepSafe) to connect a person with suicide thoughts to suicide first aid, intervention caregivers.

Members of the spiritual care community may register for, or learn more about the program by calling Upstate Direct at 464-8668 or 1-800-464-8668.

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