Michael Polacek – Oregon Board Member



The vision of someone dying by suicide is intolerable. While I do not have a personal struggle with the intense emotions that lead to suicide, I am impacted by the daily struggles that close friends and family fight.

As a psychiatric-mental health nurse, my goal is to address the factors that lead someone to think suicide is an answer and have little sympathy for agencies and health care organizations that do not attack suicide prevention like a mama bear.

This epidemic can be stopped, and suicide must be taken off the table as a choice but this is feasible only if genuinely helpful alternatives become easily and readily available. Our care systems are incomplete, fragmented and difficult for someone in crisis to navigate. So they must be supported by gatekeeper responders who are able to walk with someone in need during a crisis. I am engaged with the AFSP because we must know m

ore about suicide and we must apply that knowledge into practice by educating legislators, administrators, policymakers, and thought leaders to support their efforts to use evidence-based practices. AFSP is a primary funder of research to identify those practices and direct policymakers in how to create public policy and implement effective interventions on a community and individual level. Imagining my friends and family dying from suicide is as intolerable to my mind as their dying from cancer or being killed by a drunk driver.