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Mediation to be Used as a Dispute Resolution Tool after Suicides

Thursday, August 25, 2016

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Two Livingston teenagers and two of the area’s adults all committed suicide within a short period of each other earlier this year. The town is now addressing the crisis by initiative a grassroots movement called #WeWillListen. The campaign’s goal is to educate the community about the mental health resources available to area residents in Park County.

 

According to one member of the community, owner of Chico Hot Springs Seabring Davis, and her husband, the community realized those living in the area and suffering with mental health issues might not know who to contact for assistance and support. Their goal with the new campaign, who Davis coupled with Rib and Chop House managers Ryan and Taylor Sones to initiate, is to make sure everyone knows where to go when they need help.

 

In addition to the hashtag, the community put up billboards and signage around the area, especially inside of and nearby schools. The signs include a phone number to the National Suicide Hotline. Organizers held a fundraiser in May that raised more than $10,000 to put toward the program.

 

Most recently, the program is partnering with Bozeman’s Community Mediation Center and will hold a training for school administrators, teachers, and staff. The goal is to bring mediation into Park County Schools in an effort to resolve disputes peacefully and with communication, hopefully adding to suicide prevention.

 

Organizers admit there is no clear cut answer to preventing future suicides, but they point to the way in which conversations can help resolve disputes and prevent violence and conflict. They want to provide different types of mediation to students and allow them to communicate about problems in a confidential, respectful environment.


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