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Interview with WNMU General Manager Patrick Lakenen: WNMU-TV Facing Suicide Town Hall


Join the discussion in person or virtually Tuesday, September 27 at 7 pm ET

WNMU-TV will host a "Facing Suicide: Town Hall" at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday, September 27th in NMU's Northern Center. A panel of Upper Peninsula mental health professionals will discuss suicide awareness and prevention. The public is invited to attend in person or virtually at no charge. The town hall is inspired by the PBS documentary, Facing Suicide, which premiered this month.


WNMU General Manager Patrick Lakenen joined Kurt Hauswirth in Public Radio 90's studios to discuss the town hall discussion; listen to the interview below:

A conversation with WNMU General Manager Patrick Lakenen

Questions about the town hall to Patrick:

Why was it important to produce a program on this topic?

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States and it’s no different here in the Upper Peninsula. For that to change, we must do more to remove the stigma associated with mental health challenges and with seeking help.

Through the power of public media and with the help of our U.P. mental health professionals, WNMU-TV is committed to promoting suicide prevention efforts and the array of support services available across the Upper Peninsula.

Our partners at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Twin Cities PBS always viewed the Facing Suicide documentary as a starting point, not a one-and-done. As a supplement, they set about to identify other public media stations that could develop local suicide prevention initiatives and we jumped at the opportunity. WNMU-TV was one of ten public media stations awarded grants to expand educational efforts in the communities it serves.

Why a town hall?

We’ve heard so much about the shortage of mental health professionals that it’s sometimes easy to overlook the wealth of support services that already exist. WNMU-TV’s town hall will bring together an impressive cross-section of experts and organizations, and interested community members for a candid discussion.

While we will use short excerpts from the documentary as the basis for discussion, the floor will be open to all…to ask questions and to share their knowledge and experiences.


"Facing Suicide: Town Hall" will take place Sept. 27, 2022 at 7 pm ET at NMU's Northern Center. This event is free and open to the public. Visit https://wnmutv.nmu.edu/community/facing-suicide-town-hall/ for more information.


Kurt lives in Marquette with his family and can’t imagine living anywhere else. He loves music, games, running, being near water, and a fine cold brew coffee.
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