Suicide Prevention Forum scheduled for Aug. 7th

The community is invited to our “QPR: Ask a question, save a life” suicide prevention forum on Aug. 7 at First Presbyterian Church, 1901 Vine Street, Hudson, at 6:30 p.m.

At least a dozen suicides have occurred in the Hudson area in recent years, including three Hudson area teens in the past year.  Through this public forum, the Hudson Community Foundation hopes to raise awareness about suicide, train interested person on prevention skills, and prevent more deaths.

The featured speaker will be Melissa Costello, who lost her daughter Jordan to suicide in September 2012. She has chosen to honor her daughter’s memory by speaking openly and candidly about Jordan’s death in hopes of saving lives and sparing other families the grief hers lives with daily.

Costello said the loss of her daughter is something she deals with every day and that will never change. But what she hopes will change is the circle of silence that surrounds suicide. “Suicide isn’t about shame or blame,” she said. “We need to be honest about it and love our kids enough to talk to them about it.”

In addition, local military veteran Willy Graves will discuss the increasing number of veterans who are dying of suicide each day and talk about ways to reach out to veterans who might need support. According to a report released in 2013 by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 22 veterans committed suicide in the U.S. every day in 2010, with nearly 70 percent of all veteran suicides were among men and women aged 50 or older.

The Suicide Prevention Task Force of St. Croix County will conduct the three-step prevention training called QPR. The acronym QPR stands for “Question, Persuade and Refer” and was developed by Paul Quinnett, Ph.D., who designed the training to be an easy, memorable way for people to help someone who might be considering suicide. QPR is a nationally recognized, evidenced-based program, proven to reduce suicides in communities across the United States. It involves three steps:

  • Ask the person if he or she is thinking about suicide.
  • Persuade the person to get help.
  • Refer the person to an appropriate resource.

Everyone who completes the training at the forum will be given a QPR guide and information about suicide prevention and resources. Similar trainings are being conducted throughout the county.

For more information on the forum contact HCF board member Meg Heaton at (715) 426-1067.  For more information about the task force contact Patty Schachtner at or Kesha Marson at

Heroin in Hudson Agenda for July 18, 6:30pm


Heroin in Hudson: a Community Crisis
Thursday, July 18, 6:30 pm Run time about 2.5 hours
First Presbyterian Church, 1901 Vine Street, Hudson

Join us for a community forum with several speakers will share their perspective. Each speaker will talk from either their personal or professional experiences. We ask that the audience give each speaker about ten minutes to share their story and save question until the end. Our agenda and speaker line up for the evening is as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Nick Motu, Hazelden, Explanation of opiate based painkillers and how they lead to heroin
  • Phil Drewiske, Recovering addict, Personal story
  • Roger and Judy Drewiske, Parents story
  • Peter VanDusartz, Hudson Hospital Programs for Change, Physical and psychological effects of heroin addiction
  • Steven Skoog, Recovering addict, Personal story
  • Jodi and Phil Skoog, Parents story
  • Law enforcement HPD Det. Sgt. Geoff Willems; St. Croix County Investigator Jim Mikla
  • Karen Hale, mother of Alysa Ivy, A mother’s story
  • St. Croix County Coalition, Sara Seidel
  • Closing remarks and adjourn to question and answer period

Please watch for follow up information in the Hudson Star Observer about this critical community issue.

Heroin in Hudson – Community Forum

July 18, 2013  |  6:30 pm
First Presbyterian Church, 1901 Vine Street, Hudson

Please share this information.

The Hudson Community Foundation, in the effort to address the growing public concern about heroin use, is sponsoring a community forum. This forum is open to the public and we encourage Hudson residents to share this event with friends and neighbors that may young adults in their family. With almost a dozen deaths from heroin and other drug overdoses in our area in the last few years, several were young adults in their 20s. This issue is still unknown to many people in our area and raising awareness could help prevent the loss of another life.

What to expect at the community forum:

  • Stories about addiction from recovered individuals
  • Families sharing their story of loss
  • Treatment professionals providing facts on addiction and treatment
  • Hudson police Department’s comment on response and challenges
  • Q&A with the panel – bring any questions you may have

Any additional information will be updated on this page. If you have any questions you can contact our board member, Meg Heaton, at 715-426-1067 or send us a note below.