(Isstories Editorial):- Detroit, Jun 11, 2018 (Issuewire.com) – In Michigan, suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 15-34. The Detroit Association of Black Organizations Project Rainbow hosted the STOP Suicide Forum on Saturday in Detroit to dampen those numbers. Award winning actress Erika Alexander, recently in the movie Get Out, delivered the keynote address.
Alexander shared a heartfelt story about her struggles and experiences as an adolescent and why suicide awareness and prevention is so important. She also encouraged the community to recognize and respond to people at potential risk for suicide.
“Depression can lead to suicide and it has lasting effects on everyone, but we often don’t realize how many young people, especially of color, suffer in silence, without help, said Alexander. We must provide support, attention and care to children and young adults who live in the shadows. They struggle every day to move forward while walking side-by-side with death. With training, time and proper health care, we can guide them back into the light, so they can thrive and live up to their God-given potential.”
The STOP Suicide Forum was one of many QPR Suicide Prevention trainings as part of Project Rainbows initiative to create a suicide free community. QPR, which stands for Question-Persuade-Refer, is a nationally recognized suicide prevention program to educate the community about how to question, persuade and refer someone who may be suicidal.
Suicide is one of the most preventable causes of death, yet it affects so many, said Rev. Horace Sheffield, III, CEO, Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO). Im happy to have had the opportunity to bring this issue to the forefront and train the community on how to help those suffering around them.
DABOs Project Rainbow is a teen suicide prevention program funded by the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DWMHA). Project Rainbow provides free mental health first aid training and QPR trainings to youth, families, and community leaders across Michigan.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and we have to do more to instill hope and provide help, said Andrea Smith, Director of Clinical Practice Improvement, Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority. Educating the community on how to recognize signs and symptoms of suicide is imperative, as it is a public health crisis.
Participants were treated to a free hot breakfast thanks to the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) Faith Based Council. Oak Street Health was also a sponsor of this event. Over 150 members of the community were trained on QPR at the STOP Suicide Forum.
This was an amazing opportunity to educate, equip, and support parents and community leaders to stop suicide. This event provided an opportunity for people to listen, heal, and learn what to do when they see the signs. Yolanda Eddins, Assistant Director, Detroit Public Schools Community District Faith Based Council.
To schedule a QPR training for your school, church, business, or organization, please call The Detroit Association of Black Organizations at (313) 491-0003.