Nate Chute Foundation to Offer Suicide Prevention Education Classes

The Whitefish-based nonprofit will host four community education classes in September to mark Suicide Prevention Month

By Denali Sagner
Glacier High School’s head soccer coach Ryan Billiet wears a pin in remembrance of students who died by suicide at the Crosstown soccer match in Legends Stadium on Sept. 16, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Nate Chute Foundation — a Whitefish-based suicide prevention organization — will be hosting a series of LEARN Community Education events across the Flathead Valley in September to mark Suicide Prevention Month. 

The 90-minute sessions are designed to equip community members with critical skills for supporting those who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts and connect them to vital community resources. Topics include how to make a home safer to prevent the risk of suicide, how to ask about suicide in a safe way and how to recognize the signs of a mental health crisis and intervene when necessary. 

Montana in recent years has seen one of the largest increases in suicides nationwide. The state reported a 42% increase in suicides between 2011 and 2021, one of the most severe spikes in the United States. Between 2011 and 2020, Montana’s youth suicide rate (ages 11 to 17) was more than double the national rate

The free suicide prevention classes are open to the public and recommended for all community members, including teenagers and their parents. LEARN is an-evidence based curriculum from Forefront Suicide Prevention at the University of Washington whose mission it is to help people take action to prevent suicide.

The schedule is as follows: 

  • Whitefish: Tuesday, Sept. 19, 7 p.m. – Whitefish Performing Arts Center
  • Bigfork: Thursday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m. – Bigfork Art and Cultural Center
  • Columbia Falls: Tuesday, Sept. 26, 7 p.m. – Columbia Falls High School – Little Theater
  • Kalispell: Thursday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m. – Flathead High School – Flex Rooms

For more details, visit www.natechutefoundation.org or contact [email protected].

If you are in crisis and want help, call the Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 24/7, at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or text “MT” to 741 741. The National Suicide Prevention hotline can also be reached by calling or texting 988 or chatting at 988lifeline.org

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