What should you do if you believe someone you know is thinking of committing suicide?
Six members of the Bar Harbor (Mount Desert Island) Rotary Club recently addressed this question by attending Suicide Gatekeeper Training in Bangor along with Rotarians from Millinocket and several Bangor clubs. Suicide prevention has been chosen by District Governor Serge Poulin, of Quebec City, as a focus of his leadership this year, and he has worked with other Rotarians to provide Suicide Gatekeeper Training throughout the district.
MDI club members at the training session were Lisa Horsch Clark, Nancy Corliss, Annette Higgins, Marc Perry, Dean Read and Suzanne Sylvia. The group participated in role playing, learned about signs to watch for and received information about resources in the community and state. They took away the message “Listen to your gut, don’t be afraid to ask the direct question, and if appropriate call 911.”
Support for the MDI Hospital Oncology Department
MDI Rotarians have a long history of supporting the MDI Hospital Oncology Department, both financially and with hands-on assistance. Most recently, the Rotary board voted to provide $6,100 to the hospital to purchase a new infusion chair with pillows to replace an obsolete unit that is no longer comfortable for people who need to be immobile for several hours. The money will also pay for two electronic tablets to be used by patients during infusion treatments and 200 gas cards to be provided to patients traveling distances that create a financial hardship.
Proceeds from the club’s annual Adventure Golf tournament are dedicated to supporting cancer-related causes including the MDI Hospital’s Oncology Department. A tournament is planned for spring.
Associate member growth
In 2011 MDI Rotary was selected by Rotary International to conduct an associate member pilot program, developing ways to make the club more accessible to prospective members whose schedules and budgets may make it difficult to join the club. Associate members pay $50 a year in dues, as compared with active member dues of $165, and are required to attend only one meeting a month. To make Rotary further accessible to a broader group of people, in August the club began holding its first meeting of each month after business hours rather than at lunchtime. After-hours meetings have been held at the Bluenose Inn, Galyn’s and McKay’s, giving more prospective members the opportunity to become acquainted with the club and its mission.
Associate members are Jennifer Litteral, Liz McMullan and Derrick Sekulich. Nicole Ouellette joined the club as its first associate member but is now an active member, chair of the public relations committee and member of the board.
Anyone interested in the associate member program is encouraged to contact Marc Perry at 288-3320.
With the exception of the first Wednesday of each month, the club meets on Wednesdays at noon at Birch Bay Village. For information, e-mail Scott Hammond at [email protected]