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Essentia pediatrics team completes special mental health-suicide prevention training

How a nurse asking questions during a doctor's visit could save a life.

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LPN Sadie Borslien (left) and NP Aubrey Decoteau (right) are part of a pediatrics team at Essentia Health that recently finished special training in mental health and suicide prevention.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News

Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

FARGO — A pediatrics team of Essentia Health physicians, nurses and other providers has just finished specialized training with an organization focused on mental health and suicide prevention.

It could mean intervention and prevention at a simple clinic visit.

It took a scene of hundreds of people (many of them high school students) rallying in front of a hospital for a friend from West Fargo who had attempted suicide to remind us how far we've come in putting mental health on our to-do list.

"I would say it's probably that we're talking about it more, which in our world is a pro. Anytime we get a kid that will come in and tell you they are having a problem or tell you that they're having these feelings or thoughts, if they feel like that's a normal experience they're more likely to open up to us," said Aubrey Decoteau, a nurse practitioner at Essentia.


Essentia pediatrics providers have just finished specialized training with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention North Dakota Chapter . The goal is to give doctors, nurses, and other providers more mental health tools and data when kids come into their clinic.

"So instead of beating around the bush we just kind of get right to it. In some kids, I think they've responded well to that," said Sadie Borslien, a licensed practical nurse at Essentia.

Elizabeth Medd and her husband Todd lost their son Liam to suicide. He was just 15 years old. A baseball tournament in his honor raises awareness about mental health. The Medds are happy to see medical providers trying to do more.

"Being preventative, being proactive about getting that information, getting that idea that's it's okay to ask for help before there is a problem is critical to ending this epidemic," Elizabeth Medd said.

We started the story celebrating Brady Prochnow's discharge to a rehab center following a suicide attempt.

His mother Bobbie Prochnow said that the progress he is making at a rehab center near Omaha is "unbelievable."

"It is unbelievable. He is walking and talking," Bobbi Prochnow said.

On Wednesday, May 24, his recovery continues in Omaha and his mother hopes special training — whether in a clinic or as curriculum in schools — will spark change.


"Getting these things more ingrained into everyday activities with kids in schools instead of this reactive approach that we have to, sometimes, unfortunately take because these things happen, and then (...) scrambling to fix them, or in worse cases, understand what went wrong and why," Bobbi Prochnow said.

"I'm in a unique club. I get another chance at this," she added.

Visit these links for more information on the 463 Foundation baseball tournament and details of the AFSP organization:

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

Contact Email: kwallevand@wday.com
Phone Number: (701) 241-5317
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