EDMOND — Edmond has had 13 suicides so far this year, and an additional 48 people have attempted to end their lives.
Last year, four suicides were reported the entire year.
Concerns over suicide led to the creation of the Edmond Suicide Prevention Task Force, with members from the police department, University of Central Oklahoma, public schools, mental health care agencies and counselors.
The task force will hold the next suicide prevention summit at 6 p.m. Monday in the Radtke Fine Arts Theater at UCO's Center for Transformative Learning building.
The summit is open to local residents. Organizers recommend children not attend.
The goal of the summit is to prevent future suicides in the community by providing information and resources to people who are suicidal, or to those who might know someone who is, to help get them the assistance they need, said Steve Thompson, Edmond deputy police chief.
“We want people to know there are other avenues available,” Thompson said. “We need to get the resources to them.”
The rate of suicides in Edmond has slowed as the year draws to an end.
“I think we are making a positive impact,” Thompson said. “We have been at 13 suicides for some time. I hope people are getting the message and seeing that there are options.”
Sessions about the Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) approach to suicide intervention and prevention will be held during the summit. The QPR approach equips ordinary people with the tools needed to help a friend or loved one, who might be suicidal, receive much needed help.
Also involved in the summit are Edmond Family Counseling, HeartLine, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Parents Helping Parents and OU Medical Center Edmond.