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Butte Hosts Suicide Prevention Discussion

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BUTTE -

The Butte community is continuing to mourn after multiple teen suicides occurred in a short period of time.

As part of the grieving process, Butte High School hosted a community-wide discussion about suicide prevention, with the help of the state's suicide prevention coordinator, Karl Rosston.

"This is not a quick fix problem," Rosston said. "It is part of our culture and it takes a cultural shift in thinking, and that takes time."

Among the community crowd Rosston spoke to were members of the school district, law enforcement, community health professionals and even Governor Steve Bullock.

"As a community, there is no other place that cares for those who are hurting and injured as you do," Governor Bullock said.

Rosston spoke about suicide stats, prevention, how to identify signs, how to intervene, and where to find help.

Among those topics, Rosston also addressed why the teen suicides in Butte may have occurred so close together.

"It almost is a way of when the barrier has been broken, then a lot of other kids start to feel and realize that they're in trouble and they don't know how to cope with it," Rosston said. "We always say that suicide occurs when the pain exceeds the ability to cope and I think that's what happens with our kids."

At least 200 people attended Tuesday's discussion.

Most say it's important to come together and prevent suicide as a community.

"I think community is the most important thing in working in anything with juvenile suicide," said Courtney Burge, a Butte resident. "So I think it's important for the community to be one team, and to figure out the signs and how to stop it."

"I think that we have to better educate ourselves to understand what we can do as individuals, as groups, and as organizations," said Howard Lemm from Butte.

Rosston will speak again Wednesday afternoon at the Butte High Auditorium.

Wednesday's presentation is just for Butte High parents and will focus on teen suicide prevention.

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