CAST hosting training and community forum on Saturday

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Addressing suicide together as a community

Cumberland County's CAST coalition is holding a training session and community forum on Saturday at the regional hospital in Upper Nappan.

Cumberland County's CAST coalition is holding a training session and community forum on Saturday at the regional hospital in Upper Nappan. The local coalition began last fall with an awareness walk and information session at town hall.

AMHERST – The Cumberland County CAST Coalition is hosting a Safe Talk training session and community forum on Saturday at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre.

Both sessions are being held in Conference rooms 1 and 2 at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Upper Nappan from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

From 9 a.m. to noon, the Safe Talk training program will be held under the direction of Mike Price and Jennifer MacMaster.

Safe Talk is a three-hour program that trains people to identify people with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources.

The community forum, from 1 to 3:30 p.m., is an opportunity for community members to meet and discuss existing suicide resources, education, training and awareness in Cumberland County.

The goal of the forum is for the community to identify what is needed to make Cumberland County safe from suicide.

Pre-registration is required for the Safe Talk training. Call 661-0108 or 1-877-466-6606 for more information, or go to

The event is being supported by the area’s three community health boards including the SOAR, SPAR and Pugwash and area boards.

The Cumberland County chapter of Communities Addressing Suicide Together was formed last year with a suicide awareness walk last September, followed by an information session at the Dominion Public Building that featured the Collateral Damage display.

CAST as an organization was started in May 2006. It’s a program of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Nova Scotia division, funded by the provincial Health and Wellness Department.

Its objective is to use a population health approach to help build a community’s ability to address suicide through provision of education and training programs, raising awareness through community events or conversations, building coalitions, holding consultations with communities that wish  to become suicide safer and postvention and youth programs.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, the NS Mental Health Crisis Line is available for all Nova Scotian’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  You can call toll free 1-888-429-8167, and for local mental health support, please contact Cumberland Mental Health Services in Amherst: at 667-3879.


Organizations: Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre, Cumberland County CAST Coalition, Dominion Public Building Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia division Health and Wellness Department Cumberland Mental Health Services

Geographic location: AMHERST, Cumberland County, Upper Nappan

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