3rd annual suicide prevention conference held in Cape Girardeau - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

3rd annual suicide prevention conference held in Cape Girardeau

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)

The 3rd Annual Suicide Prevention and Awareness Conference will be held on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

The message from counselors: Reaching out to someone in need may save a life.

Rick Strait with the Community Counseling Center pointed out that Missouri's suicide rate is actually higher than the national average.

He said reaching out to a friend, or even a stranger in need, can make a big difference.

"The best thing any of us can do is listen," Strait said. "Not even try to give advice, just ask them what's going on. Tell them we're there for them, how can I help you and then if necessary, then get them to see the appropriate help. Again, a lot of times just being heard will reduce some of those suicidal thoughts. Knowing that somebody cares and is there for them."

More than 350 people from state and local counseling agencies, faith-based groups and public safety professionals joined in the day-long event.

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