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Billings suicide prevention group launches 988 campaign

Dillon Lytsell and Sarah Music stand next to yard signs
Courtesy Sarah Music
Dillon Lytsell and Suicide Prevention Coalition of Yellowstone Valley chair Sarah Music stand with yard signs that will be displayed to bring awareness to mental health resources.

The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Yellowstone Valley is launching a campaign to bring awareness to the new three-digit suicide prevention lifeline.

The Coalition partnered with RiverStone Health to create and display five yard sign designs highlighting at-risk groups including veterans, LGBTQ+ and two-spirit individuals, Native Americans, rural farmers and ranchers, and middle-aged men.

“The yard signs are really to encourage people to talk about mental health and suicide," said Suicide Prevention Coalition chair Sarah Music, "but then also reach out if they're struggling…and know that they can just dial that quick three numbers to get connected with somebody."

988 mental health campaign signs.jpg
Courtesy Sarah Music
As part of a mental health awareness campaign, yard signs highlight different at-risk groups and display information on mental health resources.

The signs have information about local organizations that work with these at-risk groups: Dog Tag Buddies, Ask in Earnest, Billings Urban Indian Health and Wellness Center and the 4Q6 Youth Alliance for this campaign. Anyone interested in getting a sign for their yard can visit the coalition's website or Facebook page.

The signs also display the new three-digit suicide lifeline number 988, which launched in July. Montana has some of the highest rates of suicide for youth, and adults, in the country.

Riverstone Health will also be launching a social media campaign this month aimed at youth suicide prevention.

"We really wanted to wait for the school year to get started," Music said.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health you can call 988.

Ellis Juhlin is YPR's Statehouse reporter based in Helena.