In 2011 alone, 224 Mainers took their own life by suicide.

More can be done to prevent suicides in Maine, but it takes a community of well-educated people to do so.

One of the biggest myths dealing with suicide is that talking about the issue will actually cause someone who's suicidal to make an attempt.

That's just not the case according to Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Dr. Sheila Pinnette, and she says an upcoming conference will help people to better identify risk factors.

Next week the Maine Suicide Prevention Program will host its annual conference, Beyond the Basics in Suicide Prevention, at the Augusta Civic Center.

Dr. Pinnette says the event will feature experts discussing issues such as older adult suicide.

"Our statistics show us that the highest incidence rate of suicide in the state is actually among the 45-50 age group, and males," states Dr. Pinnette.

The guest speakers for the conference include: Carol Podgorski, PhD, MPH, MS MFT, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, N.Y., will focus on suicide prevention in older adults, promoting mental health and reducing risk factors.

David Jobes, PhD, ABPP, Professor of Psychology, Associate Director of Clinical Training, The Catholic University of America, will discuss trends in health care settings that are creating unique challenges and potential responses to effectively managing suicide risk across a spectrum of care.

Part of the day will also include the Caring About Lives in Maine awards will be presented to individuals representing the Bangor Police Department, Rockland Police Department, Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office, Maine Medical Center and Maranacook Community High School for their work in suicide prevention and intervention.

For more details on the conference click here.

For more information on suicide prevention click here.