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From Dark to Light-Suicide Awareness Day Event

Boca Raton Community to Organize Grassroots Art and Music Event on World Suicide Prevention Day 2018 

Local artists, mental health practitioners, and business owners are banding together to provide a platform for an uplifting art and music festival on Monday, September 10, 2018 in observance of World Suicide Prevention Day.

Robot Brewing Company will host From Dark to Light, an art and music event in observance of World Suicide Prevention Day on Monday, September 10, 2018 from 7:00-10:00 p.mThere is a $5 cover charge and proceeds will benefit NAMI Palm Beach County’s Ending the Silence program.

South Florida artist and filmmaker Talora Michal is working together with musician and FAU alumnus Oren Gross, art curator Tayina Deraville, and clinical social worker Carol Gross to produce the event, in collaboration with NAMI PBC and Robot Brewing Company.

“I know so many people who have survived suicidal ideation,” say Talora Michal. The former school-based suicide prevention educator’s mixed media conceptual art The Shell Project served as the springboard for the event. “Art and music are vehicles for healing and connection. It is important to me to be a champion in helping prevent suicide in my community; I hope to be a bridge to help for others by organizing this event in my community to benefit NAMI.”

Katherine Murphy, Director of Programs NAMI-PBC NAMI runs the Ending the Silence suicide prevention program.  “Students learn about some of the early signs of mental health conditions, warning signs of suicide, where to seek support, how to be a supportive friend, and various ways to reduce the stigma around mental illness,” Murphy says. “NAMI Ending the Silence has been offered to over 1,500 students in Palm Beach County schools.”

During From Dark to Light, diverse local music acts will perform originals and covers of songs that help others understand what it feels like to live with symptoms of mental illness, as well as songs that remind a person who is struggling to hold on through tough times.

Allen Steen, the owner of Robot Brewing Company, says “I’m very happy to open our doors to NAMI for this event. My wife is a psychologist, so I understand the importance of destigmatizing mental health issues and encouraging people to seek help when they need it.”

Visual art on display will range from expressions of what it is to struggle with symptoms of mental illness, to messages of hope from allies.

As a proponent for beneficence, Tayina Deravile, Arts Administrator, is honored to join From Dark to Light in its effort to facilitate a safe space for suicide prevention education, and funding for NAMI-PBC. “I believe that cultural arts has the power to be used as a catalyst for well being. Being able to express yourself through or experience art in any form can be an empowering tool to help maintain positive coping strategies for depression and anxiety. My background in psychology and experience working with art institutions furthers my belief that art is essential in an individual’s overall mental health.”  She is looking forward to working across artistic disciplines to facilitate the cultural and mental growth of the local community.

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is the brainchild of The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), a global association of academics, mental health professionals, crisis workers, volunteers, and suicide survivors from over fifty countries who are devoted to preventing suicidal behavior, and alleviating its effects. WSPD has been held every year on the 10th of September since 2003. This year, the theme is “Working Together To Prevent Suicide”.

According to IASP, “every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. It is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds. For every suicide, 25 people make a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide.”

“In supporting our local branch of NAMI,” says Michal, “we support local efforts to reach members of our community who are in pain and need healing.” Members of the community who are unable to attend the event can champion NAMI-PBC Ending the Silence online at https://namipbc.org/donate_now/ and write “suicide prevention” in the comments section.

Clinician Carol Gross, LCSW urges anyone suffering symptoms of mental illness to seek support. “Our music often reflects what people feel and we can often find the words there that we can’t speak for ourselves.  R.E.M. sings ‘Everybody hurts, sometimes’, and OK Go says ‘This too shall pass’.  Allow yourself to feel, and find a way to connect to someone when it is hard.  There are lots of resources from hotlines to clinicians to clergy to family and friends. Reach out.  We will reach back.”

Individuals in crisis can call 2-1-1, the Palm Beach/Treasure Coast hotline that assists people in need by providing information on available health and human service programs, referral, crisis intervention and community education 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

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