WMH Foundation welcomes Dr. Kent Corso to Weiser

The Weiser Memorial Hospital Foundation is hosting psychologist and behavioral analyst Dr. Kent Corso in Weiser beginning May 8. Above, he gives a talk at the Vendome in 2022, touching on the difficult topic of suicide. Photo by Philip A. Janquart
Philip A. Janquart
 Psychologist and behavioral analyst, Dr. Kent Corso, will be in Weiser next week to provide education on behavioral health and suicide.
 Sponsored by the Weiser Memorial Hospital Foundation (WMHF), the talks are geared to both professionals and members of the community. 
 It will be Dr. Corso’s third visit to Weiser, the trips made possible by a four-year, $1.2 million grant through the federal Health Resources and Services Administration under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
 “We are able to use part of the grant funds to bring education and training to our community, providing valuable information on the topic of behavioral health and suicide awareness,” said WMHF Executive Director Kimberly Burgess.
 Dr. Corso will hold two private events for healthcare providers from Family Medical Center, Weiser Memorial Hospital, and Two Rivers Medical Clinic, as well as a private event for the Weiser School District as part of a mandatory training that has been endorsed by WSD Superintendent Kenneth Dewlen. The intent is to train all district staff on suicide prevention and mental health awareness.
 There will also be two public events for the community.
 The first is on Wednesday, May 8 from 6-7:30 p.m. Dubbed the Parent-Teen Mental Health Summit, the event will take place at the Weiser High School library, located at 690 E. Indianhead Road. There is no cost to attend the talk, which is entitled, “Bridging Understanding, Building Resilience.” It is open to all, including parents, families, and teens age 13 and above.
 “We just want to bring quality education to our community,” Burgess said of Wednesday’s summit. “Our learning objectives are to talk about common myths surrounding mental health and suicide. Dr. Corso will explain how to strengthen the community to reduce mental health and suicide risk and then he will talk about recognizing the warning signs of those in distress and gaining confidence in approaching them through a program called ‘PROSPER’ that he created.”
 He will also address the benefits of improving the safe storage of firearms among those who may be experiencing distress in life.
 The second public event is for “Gate Keepers” and will be held on Thursday, May 9 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Weiser Fire District located at 167 W. Commercial St. in Weiser. 
 It is open to anyone who is in a position of authority, that works with youth or other members of the community such as medical personnel, fire, police, parents, and teachers.
 Dr. Corso has spent 20 years enhancing mental health in groups like the military, law enforcement, and rural communities. His work includes consulting, training, and research internationally, focusing on building resilience and addressing suicide and mental health issues.
 Dr. Corso said there has been a rise in suicide in the U.S. in recent years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reported that 2022 saw the highest rate for suicide on record due to a “lag effect” stemming from the pandemic.
 He said there is a difference in suicide rates between densely populated states versus rural/frontier states like Idaho. The specific data is aggregated every three years, with the latest available data set coming in 2022.
 Suicide, Dr. Corso said, is one of the top 10 causes of death for adults and the number two cause of death for kids and adolescents in the U.S., with about 45,000 total suicides each year.
 “Idaho had the 12th highest suicide rate per capita in the U.S. and what we know is that Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Alaska tend to be in that top 10 year after year whereas states like Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and California are the lowest and those, obviously, have some very densely populated areas,” Corso told the Signal American.
 For more information on Dr. Kent Corso, visit his site at www.prospertogether.net. 


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
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