Delta County Suicide Prevention Task Force

DCSPTF Accomplishments

End the Silence Walk

Since 2009 the yearly End the Silence Walk in Ludington Park has had over 500 participants. The walk, in memory of Bobby and Josh Bintner, two brothers who ended their lives by suicide, was started by the Bintner family who wanted the community to know that with intervention, suicide is preventable. The walk is the major funding source for DCSPTF activities. Along with hearing from speakers, people are able to participate in the walk, enjoy food, obtain resource materials, and contribute through the silent auctions. For more information about the End The Silence walk, go to the End the Silence Walk Facebook site.

Suicide Prevention / Awareness Presentations

Students from Escanaba (Upper Elementary, Junior and Senior High), Gladstone, Delta-Schoolcraft I.S.D., Bark River, Hannahville, Rapid River, Manistique, Big Bay, Mid Peninsula and Bay College have attended presentations at their schools. Thousands of students have been impacted with hope and resources to help them, their friends and their families. Students have told the presenters and school counselors that by attending a presentation, it made a difference, with some adding that it helped them out of the dark place of depression and gave them the courage to get counseling instead of ending their life. Presentations are done by BDD Associates (international professional presenters) and task force members who have lost family members to suicide. Other community organizations that have requested presentations include law enforcement, nurses, Kiwanis, women’s clubs, and others. To request a presentation for your group, contact Janet Lindstrom.

Counseling in the Schools

Youth suicide is preventable and early detection and treatment are the keys to better outcomes. Counseling in the schools is often the first line of defense and another layer of support for our seriously at risk students. It is a key to prevention for teens who are struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide, experiencing hormone swings, self-harming like cutting, not handling first relationship breakups, and working through addictions, suicide in the family and hospitalizations for suicide attempts. Throw in teen hormone swings and looking for a quick fix to a problem, and teens do not always make good choices. Some students who the school counselor asked the therapist to see were age 11 with plans for suicide – an age too young to know how to deal with suicidal thoughts and know where to go for help. We've hired Self-Reflections Therapeutic Service Inc. to work with students in schools (that request the free service) to fill a gap in mental health services and meet with students who are at high risk for suicide, talked about taking their life, or have attempted suicide. They work closely with school teachers, counselors and social workers to identify students most at risk and meet with them. With counseling in the schools, when teachers and counselors notice students who are struggling (about 50 each year), they can refer them to a therapist. There is never a charge to the students for the service, or limit to the number of times a student can meet with the therapist for this extra support line. The therapist also does presentations to classrooms, teacher in-service training, and school employee groups, to help them identify warning signs and know how to refer students for help.

Special Projects

- Two informational summits organized by the SPTF at Bay College for the community
- Billboards with messages of awareness and helpline information
- Books and printed water bottles have been distributed
- TV prevention commercial
- School posters with help line cards - Information booth at the fair

Suicide Survivor Support Group

The support group is appropriate for adults who have lost a close friend or family member to suicide. The group provides a venue where those who have lost a friend or family member to suicide can talk about their losses, and get support from others who have survived similar losses. It meets monthly and you can contact Cindy Bintner at 906-789-0003 for meeting dates and times.

Memory Quilt

Janet Lindstrom designed two memory quilts with pictures to celebrate loved ones who have died by suicide, and she displays them at events in the area. Our Task Force meets every other month at 5:30 at St. Thomas Church 1820 9th Ave. North in Escanaba, if anyone is interested in attending.
Anyone interested in having a loved one’s picture added they can call Janet Lindstrom at 906-280-3343.

Healthy Choices Scholarship

Starting in 2013 the SPTF funds one or two scholarships for a senior from any school who writes the most inspirational essay about the importance of suicide prevention and healthy choices.

Cultivating a Caring Community