Coming up this September there is an event that while difficult to talk about is an important one to our community. It is the Out of the Darkness Walk held on September 18, 2010. I will join hundreds of others on this walk to raise money to prevent suicide. Last year over 350 individuals joined us in this effort.
Since the Out of the Darkness Walk in 2009 I have had the privilege to be a part of the Youth Suicide Awareness Task Force here in Anne Arundel County. There have been 44 of us trained to teach others how to recognize the signs of those who may be considering ending their life. This year with a grant received from, Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention, along with the work of this Task Force we will be training an additional 19 individuals and completing the training of many individuals (gatekeepers) in our community. The groups being trained at this time are the majority of those in the school system and many other youth leaders, coaches and public service individuals.
I have personally never undertaken a more important work. I also have never seen so many agencies, faith groups, public service groups, non profits and community members ban together in an effort to protect our youth from the #3 cause of death among 15-24 year olds.
If you are going to be in Annapolis on September 18 I would like to invite you to join me (us) in this cause. If you are interested in having a group of parents or other adults to be trained in QPR, the training for those of us who have contact with young people (gatekeepers), please let me know and we will make the arrangements for this training to take place.
In the near future I will be releasing a report on the 6 most dangerous trends facing children, many of them are factors that lead up to suicide attempts. I have been working on this along with a few others for the past few months and the information is shocking. As shocking as it is, being aware of the trends allows us to do something about them with our own children.
You can sign up for the walk at this website.
Please feel free to let me know that you will be joining us at the walk.