Youth Suicide Prevention Program

Youth Suicide Prevention Program at WVC Oct. 22

Youth Suicide Prevention Program flier
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The Wenatchee Valley College Counseling department will present a Youth Suicide Prevention Program on Monday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. in the Wells Hall campus theater on the Wenatchee campus.

This one-hour presentation features writer, actor and producer Josh Rivedal. In his 30-character, 12-song, one-man show, Rivedal plays a boy who follows his dreams to Hollywood. During the journey, he must navigate through his religious upbringing, an escape to New York, two reality TV shows and his father’s tragic suicide.

The program is designed to educate young adults on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression in themselves and others; convey that depression and other mental illnesses are illnesses that respond to specific yet varied treatments; promote the acceptability in seeking out help for oneself or a friend; and provide information about local and national sources for professional help, and how to self-refer for treatment or assist a peer in getting help.

Rivedal wrote and developed the play in 2009, which opened in New York and played in Philadelphia. After speaking with young audience members whose lives had been touched by a loved one who died by suicide, Rivedal refocused the play toward youth suicide prevention to serve high school and college students. He also received Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) from LivingWorks and the New York Office of Mental Health. Rivedal bases the program on his ASIST training.

A panel discussion will immediately follow the program. Panel members include WVC counselor Bertha Sanchez, community therapist Lori Van Lith, and Dr. Julie Rickard, director of Columbia Valley Mental Health.

“Due to the increase in suicides in our community, the college wants to be proactive in helping to prevent further suicides,” said Chris Johnson, WVC counselor. “Knowledge is the key. When we know what to look for, we can better understand how to direct people.”

Sponsors of the program include the WVC Foundation and Nurses for Tomorrow.

This program is free and open to the public. On-campus parking is free during this event, and it is recommended that participants arrive early to find a parking space.