Grace Baptist Church to host suicide prevention training


A local church is urging the community to get involved and learn the warning signs of mental health issues.

“The main goal is to get church staff in SCV to come to a training,” said Rudy Hawkins, care ministry volunteer for Grace Baptist Church. “The objective is to have them be more assertive and comfortable talking about suicide and domestic violence in the church.”

The free event will take place Nov. 13 at Valencia Hills Church from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

“The whole program is going to be great,” said Larry Schallert, assistant director of the student health and wellness/mental health program at College of the Canyons.

Church doesn’t always seem to be a place to talk about these issues, Hawkins said. They are trying to change that.

“We know that if members of the clergy, employees or volunteers with faith-based organizations are aware of warning signs — we can really do a lot on the front end with mental health issues,” Schallert said.

The training will be presented by Dan Broyles, marriage and care pastor with Grace Baptist Church, and Dr. Patricia Patton, a marriage and family therapist.

“The trainers they have are very experienced,” Schallert said.

Local churches are trying to make people feel comfortable and safe, Hawkins said. “It is OK to talk. Don’t keep it bottled up.”

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