County school administrators, principals, counselors, and nurses participated in a mental health awareness and suicide prevention training Tuesday at Grand Vue Park’s reception hall.
While social distancing, the Marshall County Schools employees heard presentations from four different mental health professionals including Michelle Toman, a suicide prevention advocate.
Toman lost a sibling to suicide, little more than 25 years ago. Her younger brother, Jamie Campbell, was a freshman at West Virginia University at Parkersburg when he died. Since then Toman has been an advocate for families who have lost a loved one to suicide. In addition she has been a source of strength for those who are fighting suicidal thoughts.
In 2015, thanks to Toman’s efforts, she persuaded the West Virginia Legislature to pass Jamie’s Law which requires suicide-prevention information to be accessible to middle and high school students across the Mountain State.
Other presenters included Amy Gamble from Speaking Up 4 Mental Health, Katherine Shelek-Furbee from Bethany College and Dr. Jim Harris from Marshall University.
Topics discussed included signs to look for when it’s suspected that a student may be struggling along with tips, techniques and resources to use to help children through their troubled times.