With shortage of mental health workers, Chicago trains the public to try to prevent suicide

The Chicago Department of Public Health is focused on training city workers and people who live in areas with the highest suicide rates.

Michele Evans-Brock wants to be a messenger of sorts for one of the most vulnerable groups of people: those who are contemplating taking their own life.

She’s driven by personal experience.

“I have someone in my life who is near and dear to my heart,” Evans-Brock said. “I have some concerns. I don’t want to miss anything, because all too often someone tries to commit suicide — or they do — and family members and friends are like, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t see this coming.’”

But in hindsight, they saw it but didn’t recognize the signs, Evans-Brock continued. That could be someone who is getting their affairs in order, is depressed and hopeless, or suddenly loses interest in their friends. They might have been fired from their job or expelled from school. In other cases, their spouse or child died, or they’re worried about getting punished.

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