Groups work to make the community more dementia aware and promote suicide prevention

Lunch N Learn Dementia

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - “How are you doing?”---one Albany group said this question could help save lives.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Albany Advocacy Resource Center and Aspire are offering to teach you how to recognize signs of someone contemplating suicide.

A class on how to recognize when someone is in a crisis. (Source: WA:B)
A class on how to recognize when someone is in a crisis. (Source: WA:B)

The groups are looking to make the topic less taboo, to get you to check on your neighbors, colleagues and family members.

“Because we know suicide has no age, no color. It doesn’t care how much money you have. It doesn’t care how we dress it up. It’s real and that’s what we’d like to let everyone know. Suicide is real. And it can happen to anybody. We just want to be aware of those signs and symptoms of someone who may be in a crisis situation,” said Angie Williams, the System of Care Coordinator.

There will be another training session next Tuesday, May 21 from 2 to 4 pm at the ARC Center in Albany.

Another group working to spread awareness:

Business owners in Dougherty County are learning how to become dementia friendly which means first learning what to do if a client or shopper with dementia needs help.

Business become aware of how to help people with dementia. (Source: WALB)
Business become aware of how to help people with dementia. (Source: WALB)

More than 1,300 people in Dougherty County have dementia.

That’s just the people the Alzheimer’s Outreach Center knows of which is why the center has partnered with the Southwest Georgia Council on Aging and Phoebe.

They’re working to teach business owners how to recognize clients, or people that they’re servicing, with dementia.

Someone with dementia could become frightened or disoriented while in your shop or restaurant.

The center wants you to know how to help, rather than make the situation worse.

“They may not can make change. They may not be able to give you the right amount of money. They might not can write a check for the correct amount of money. They may appear lost, they might get angry if you try to help them. So what we’re trying to teach employees is to deal with that anger, to help them with the change, or just recognize that there is a problem there,” said Nancy Goode with the Alzheimer’s Outreach Center.

If your employees go through the training, you will get a “We are Dementia Friendly” window sticker to let the community know.

You can reach out to the center or the Southwest Georgia Council on Aging for more information on the training.

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