City prompted into action following suicides
Community forum set for Tuesday
A community forum on “Suicide Awareness and Prevention,” with a focus on youth and young adults, will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Porterville High School.
A collaboration between the city of Porterville, Burton School District, Porterville Unified School District and Porterville College, the community forum is presented as a way to help the Porterville community be more aware of a difficult and sensitive subject, specifically since many lives in the area have been touched by recent tragic suicides.
“It’s truly a collaborative,” said Porterville city manager John Lollis, explaining the idea for the meeting came out of a discussion during the quarterly meeting of the city/schools committee. That committee is made up of representatives of the city, both school districts and Porterville College.
Noting the recent tragedies and that Porterville, statistically, has a very young population, the committee agreed addressing suicide with a public forum would be appropriate.
“It will have a more particular focus on youth and young adults,” he said.
Since the two suicides, Lollis said the community has been seeking answers.
“If parents have concerns, here is an opportunity for them to ask their questions and get information from people who are very knowledgeable in the area,” he added.
The program will be held in the Frank “Buck” Shaffer Theater inside the Porterville Memorial Auditorium, 465 W. Olive Ave.
A panel of local and regional experts, on the subject of suicide awareness and prevention, will consist of Leann Gouveia, executive director, Fresno Survivors of Suicide Loss, Inc.; Noah Whitaker, community outreach manager, Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency; and Steve Walker, Porterville police chaplain and juvenile delinquency officer.
Following the panel discussion, forum attendees will be encouraged to ask questions of the panel members.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., offering attendees an opportunity to visit several agency informational booths, including booths by the county and Fresno Survivors of Suicide Loss Inc.
For more information, call the city manager’s office at 782-7466.