On the morning of May 13, community members from all over Washington County will be congregating at Pacific University to learn new ways to prevent suicide in their community.

The event, Summit of Hope, will be bringing David Covington, an internationally renowned behavioral health speaker and expert on the Zero Suicide Initiative, to help the Washington County community members implement the Zero Suicide Initiative in their respective communities.

The Zero Suicide Initiative is a specific set of tools and strategies used within organizations to bring the number of suicides down to zero. This initiative was started at the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan for their health plan members.

“We have a broad range of community members attending from all over the community,” said Suicide Prevention Coordinator for Washington County Mental Health Amy Baker. “We are very excited to hear from an expert

from the initiative.”
The event will start out with

breakfast and then Covington will speak about how various groups can implement the Zero Suicide Initiative. Then groups will be formed based on their involvement.

People in education along with people in law enforcement and government, concerned family and friends will each have their own group. These groups will then discuss how the initiative will be best implemented within their specific community.

“Some people hold the belief that if someone wants to commit suicide that there is nothing we can do about it but there is really no research to support that,” said Baker.

One of the goals of the event is to try and partner with a local health system to implement the Zero Initiative system. Overall the event will help spread awareness on suicide prevention tactics and allow community members to see that zero suicides can be achieved.

“We hope people will walk away excited and interested in the Zero Suicide Initiative and thinking about what they can do in their own community with the initiative,” said Baker.

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