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NAMI PBC featured in Sun Sentinel

Suicide prevention and fundraiser events planned for Wellington, Boca Raton and Lake Worth

By Austen Erblat 

South Florida Community News

August 28, 2018

Link to Article

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Palm Beach County is having events throughout the county to help prevent and raise awareness and money for suicide prevention.

NAMI is a nonprofit volunteer-run organization “dedicated to providing education, support, and advocacy with the goal to empower individuals living with mental illness and their families, and to eliminate the stigma associated with brain illness,” according to the organization.

On Monday, Sept. 10, NAMI will collaborate with musician and FAU alumnus Oren Gross and artist and filmmaker Talora Michal of The Shell Project for “From Dark to Light” at Robot Brewing Company (formerly the Funky Buddha Lounge) at 2621 N Federal Hwy, Boca Raton, FL 33431 from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is $5 and open to anyone 18 or older.

“I’m very happy to open our doors to NAMI for this event,” said Allen Steen, the owner of Robot Brewing Company. “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, according to a news release.

On Thursday, Sept. 13, NAMI in collaboration with Linking Individuals Needing Care will offer free suicide prevention training for families at the Wellington Branch Library, 1951 Royal Fern Dr, Wellington, FL 33414 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The training is an “interactive skills-based workshop that provides families with the opportunity to learn how to identify suicide risk, how to interact or communicate with loved ones who may be thinking about suicide, and how to build a safety net around them in order to keep them safe” and will be presented by Lindsay Slattery-Cerny, suicide prevention specialist with Linking Individuals Needing Care. RSVP by calling the library at 561-790-6070.

They will be finishing off the month with the ‘Out of the Darkness’ community fundraiser hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. at John Prince Park, 2700 6th Ave S, Lake Worth, FL 33461. In-person check in and registration is at 8:30 a.m. but online registration closes the day before at noon. Registration is free and open to everyone.

The walk will be about 5K, according to the event’s website, starting at the south end of the park. To register for the walk, visit afsp.org/palmbeach or call Adriane Cantwell at 561-506-5400.

The goal for the walk is to raise $50,000. As of Aug. 28, the organization has raised over $12,000.

According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, “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.”

“Palm Beach County ranks second in number of suicides in the state of Florida with suicide as the ninth leading cause of death in the county,” said Marsha Martino, NAMI-PBC’s executive director. “In the last decade, Palm Beach County’s suicide rate has risen by 25 percent.”

Individuals and families living in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties can call a community helpline and crisis hotline at 2-1-1.

The National Suicide Prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

 

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