Community, organizations unite for suicide prevention
November 15, 2018
The “Prosper Parents Panel for Suicide Prevention: Hurting, Helping, Healing” event will take place in the Prosper Town Hall Council Chamber, today, Nov. 15.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which raises funds for scientific research, public education and support for survivors, will sponsor a “Survivor Day” event in Dallas, Nov. 17. Today’s event, sponsored by the Prosper Parents’ Panel for Suicide Prevention, will run today from 6:30-8 p.m.
“Nationwide, a quarter of a million people participate in these walks,” AFSP North Texas Board Member Wendy Tyler said. “In Prosper’s walk, we had 427 people – not counting children.”
The Nov. 3 “Out of the Darkness” walk held in Prosper’s Windsong Ranch, raised $40,733, for the AFSP’s outreaches. The group had set a goal of $35,000.
“Survivor Day is also a big thing the AFSP does,” Tyler said. “It’s every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and it’s for survivors specifically. It’s a beautiful event.”
The first national “Survivors of Suicide Day” began in 1999.
“It offers hope to them; it provides resources that they may need,” Tyler said. “That’s probably the biggest way we bring people together and offer that.”
Organization receives charitable donations
The organization’s programs are funded through charitable donations, like those received as a result of the “Out of Darkness” walk.
“Half of donations go towards research and education programs,” Tyler said. “The other half stays right here in North Texas to be used to support schools, communities, and “Survivor Day.”
For those who can’t afford to donate money, the AFSP offers other ways to support the organization, like participating in a fundraiser walk.
“I think these walks are important because in the past four years we have experienced four suicides among our seniors of each class,” senior Piper Wise said. “I think it’s become an epidemic and we need to create awareness and raise money for the AFSP.”
The organization offers several programs for teenagers and adults.
“We have education programs, one of them is called ‘More Than Sad,’ and it helps teenagers to recognize the signs of depression in themselves and others,” Tyler said. “If you think someone is suicidal, please tell an adult because that is the biggest thing that you guys can do.”
Groups provide ways to get involved
There are several ways to get involved and take action, like the awareness walks and prevention programs.
“Students should participate in the walks and spread the word about it,” Wise said. “A couple months ago we had our ‘Talks Save Lives’ discussion at the school, which really helped educate parents and students on the matter.”
Wise believes that students should be doing more during mental health awareness month, participating in awareness walks, and getting more education on prevention.
“Students should be willing to listen to their friends without judgment,” Tyler said. “If somebody you know is struggling, if you sense it at all, ask them if they’re ok, and be willing to listen because you don’t need to offer advice if you just be there and listen.”
For information, on the event tonight, see the following resources supplied by the Prosper Parents Panel for Suicide Prevention flyers.