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Local groups partner to raise awareness for suicide prevention

May 19, 2022 | 12:10 am

Updated May 18, 2022 | 11:29 pm

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, Owensboro Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition, Inc. has partnered with RiverValley Behavioral Health’s Regional Prevention Center and Owensboro Health to present a screening of My Ascension at Malco Owensboro Cinema tonight at 7 p.m.

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The film is about a suicide attempt that left 16-year-old varsity cheerleader Emma Benoit paralyzed. That experience then propelled her on a mission to use her painful experience to help others find hope and stay alive.

The Owensboro Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition (ORSPC) has a mission to prevent suicide through education and reducing stigma related to mental health.

Brandi Kessler, Community Education Coordinator at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital’s Behavioral Health Unit, said the most recent statistics (2020) show that suicide is the second-leading cause of death for ages 10-34 in Kentucky. 

“As a coalition, we felt that bringing this documentary to our communities could help to open up dialogue about mental health, self-care and the resources available,” Kessler said. “Conversations about mental health should be as important as discussing physical health. Although the topic can be uncomfortable, suicide is preventable when people are informed-when they know risk factors, how to recognize signs and what resources are available.”

The documentary’s goal is to bring attention to the challenges currently facing teens and young adults. Having it come from a student perspective gets the real story into the minds of students, parents, teachers and the a community as a whole. 

A mental health specialist will be on site and everyone in attendance will receive informational resources.

Kessler said the coalition’s hope is that the film will spark conversations.

“That teens and young adults can see that it is not just them and there is hope and there is help,” she said. “We just have to work harder to end the stigma and save lives.”

May 19, 2022 | 12:10 am

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