Idaho Suicide Prevention Network
This Friday, the Democratic Club is happy to have Lora Whalen joining us. Lora is the Director of Panhandle Health District. She will be introducing us to SPAN Idaho-the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho. She will be sharing the purpose and function of the Idaho suicide prevention network. Her presentation will also include stories and statistics regarding this important subject. Following her overview, she will answer your questions about suicide prevention. Join her at Iron Horse Bar and Grill for a closer look at suicide and the community partners who work to prevent it.
Idaho is counted among the ten states with constantly high suicide rates. However, the reason for this consistently high number of suicides can’t be reduced to a simple solution. Unfortunately, the reasons and causes are complex. Furthermore, the social stigma surrounding suicide makes the issue more difficult to study. Therefore, to find workable solutions, SPAN draws upon the experience and input of citizens and communities across the state. Working together, they are developing and implementing strategies to reduce suicide and suicidal behavior. Their mission is “to eradicate suicide in Idaho through statewide advocacy, collaboration, and education in best practices. SPAN has created statewide regional chapters to carry out prevention efforts at the local level, and regularly conduct training conferences with nationally recognized speakers.”
Panhandle Health, An Idaho Public Health Agency
Panhandle Health is an independent agency serving Idaho’s northern most health district. It represents one of the seven districts operating in the state. Each district office acts as a primary outlet for public health services. Working closely with Health and Welfare and other state and local agencies, they respond to local needs. Among the vital services that the health agency provides are community health nursing, home health nursing, environmental health, dental hygiene and nutrition.
Director Lora Whalen
Lora Whalen joined Panhandle Health District in 2001. Then, in 2010, she assumed the role of director. Prior to joining the health district, Lora worked for 10 years at the Veteran’s Administration in Spokane. Before that, she was an army nurse. Lora is the chairperson for the north Idaho chapter of the Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN).