GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A group of Kent County mental health organizations is hosting an event Thursday night to raise awareness about suicide prevention and mental illness.
The organizations will showcase a movie called “My Ascencion” by Emma Benoit, who was only 16 years old when she attempted to end her life. She now wants to use her story to help others find hope. Benoit will be there to answer questions and a panel discussion will take place after that.
The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Old South Christian High School in Grand Rapids.
Christy Buck, the executive director of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan, says the message will be powerful.
“I think it’s a great way to understand suicide better coming from someone who actually contemplated and did attempt,” said Buck. “These types of experiences are things that you sometimes don’t get a chance to listen to someone’s story, so I think Emma will be a really good person to hear the message from.”
Participating groups include the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan/be nice., Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, Adolescent and Family Behavioral Health Services, Forest View Hospital, Network 180, Spectrum Health, Disability Advocates, Hope Network, and the Kent County Suicide Prevention Coalition. News 8’s Dana Whyte will be the host of the panel.
The event is free to attend. You can reserve your spot online.