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"Words Save Lives" Events Across Kansas Address Suicide Prevention: An Interview with Ronda Miller

Thanks to Kansas-based poet and "Words Save Lives" event host, Ronda Miller, for calling "High Plains Morning" today to share details about the statewide events popping up in towns across the Sunflower State.

Today on High Plains Morning, we talked to Ronda Miller, an advocate for literature, community, Kansas authors, and also suicide prevents. She joined us to share details about Words Save Lives, a nonprofit that’s hosting a series of events this month. Click the link at the top of this page to hear our full interview.

It all started with Marcia Epstein, a licensed social worker, that started Words Save Lives on September 10th, World Suicide Prevention Day, in Lawrence, KS. She always hosts the Lawrence event on September 10th, but there was interest in making to a statewide affair. Thankfully, Huascar Medina, the current Poet Laureate of Kansas who has been an active participant in the nonprofit, received a grant from The Academy of American Poets to take the event statewide. Ronda volunteered to host the upcoming events in Wichita (9/16) and in Colby (9/17).

Please contact Ronda if you’d like to read, perform, or speak at any of the events. She’s especially looking for people to share at the Wichita event on Friday, 9/16. You can contact her via email at poetrondamiller@gmail.com.

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, HELP IS AVAILABLE, 24 hours a day. To speak with someone, contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Just call 988, or text 988, for an operator. They offer help in English and Spanish.

Here’s a listing of the upcoming "Words Save Lives" Events in KS: September 2022

Tuesday, September 13
Emporia, 6-9pm
Clint Bowyer Building
Lyon County Fairgrounds
Industrial Rd.
Friday, September 16
Wichita, 2:30-4:30pm
Advanced Learning Library
711 West 2nd St. N.
Saturday, September 17
Colby, 3:30-5:30pm
City Limits Convention Center
2227 South Range Ave.
Saturday, September 17
Leavenworth, 6-8pm
J.W. Crancer's
530 Delaware St.
Sunday, September 18
Dodge City, 3-5pm
Dodge City Community College
2501 North 14 Avenue
Monday, September 26
Arkansas City, 7-9pm
Brown Center Theatre
125 S 2nd St.
Wednesday, September 28
Overland Park, 6:30-9:30pm
InterUrban ArtHouse
8001 Newton St

Words Save Lives: Core Beliefs and Values:
*Communication is the first step.
*Communication through art saves lives.
*“Suicide prevention” is not the ultimate goal. Living a life one is GLAD to live is the opposite of dying by suicide.
*Increasing our connections, our sense of belonging, and our sense of being valued makes life worth living.
*Social justice makes life worth living for all.
*Each person is the expert in their own experience.
*We value people of all identities and experiences.
*We hold special love and respect for those who are marginalized.
*Many of us have multiple experiences with suicide: living with suicide grief; living with suicide thoughts, attempts and/or self-harm; supporting loved one(s) who struggle with suicide; paid or volunteer work with people who struggle with suicide.
*No being is summed up by one of their identities or experiences.
*Communication through art saves lives!

Jenny Inzerillo joined HPPR in 2015 as the host of High Plains Morning, our live music program that airs weekdays at 9 am to noon CST. Broadcasting from KJJP in beautiful downtown Amarillo, she helps listeners wake up with inspired music from our region and beyond. Tune in for new voices in folk/Americana, deep cuts from your favorite artists, soulful tracks from singer/songwriters across the world, and toe-tapping classics dating as far back as the 1920s. Plus, discover underground greats that just might be your new favorite band.