Grant helps provide suicide-prevention training at Essentia Health

Dr. Marasinghe explains suicide-prevention training.
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 6:50 PM CDT
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The Pediatrics team at Essentia Health in West Fargo recently completed suicide-prevention training. This program was made possible by a grant from the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division.

Pediatrician, Dr. Dhilhan Marasinghe, says that everyone on the team is stepping up to prevent suicide.

“Because suicide rates and suicidal thoughts have really skyrocketed and active suicides in kids younger and younger,” explains Dr. Marasinghe.

The training was facilitated by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention North Dakota Chapter. Executive Director, Sam Christopherson, was impressed with the enthusiasm from the West Fargo Pediatrics team. The AFSP is providing training for Essentia Health providers in Jamestown, Valley City and Lisbon as well. Their goal is to see the suicide rate decline 20% by 2025.

“We’re going to change the culture, we’re going to encourage people to have conversations, and we’re going to normalize getting help,” says Christopherson.

Learn more about Essentia’s behavioral and mental health services and how to get help and support a loved one at