From the Youth Commission: Suicide Prevention

By contributor,
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Dear Friends of the Hopkinton Community,

Our town is still dealing with feelings of shock and grief since recently losing two of our college-age youth to suicide. Many people are wondering what we as a town of caring citizens can do. Hopkinton is not alone in dealing with this issue. As suicide is becoming a more common incident within our society, we need to understand and address it more openly with prevention in mind as community.

There are two upcoming programs addressing suicide that are being offered to the community. On April 6th Hopkinton High School will offer an informative presentation on the signs of depression and suicide as well as means of prevention and resiliency. On April 12th, the Hopkinton Youth Commission, Hopkinton Youth Services and the Hopkinton Public Library will be offering be a presentation by Medway resident Judy Giovangelo, founder of Ben Speaks. She will share an account of losing her 17 year-old son to suicide three years ago and how she has moved on since then to raise awareness of helping teens to find more positive and creative means of self expression and to "be the positive change" they want to see in the world.

Every young life is precious.

We hope that you will be able to attend one or both of these informative events in an attempt to come together to address this problem as a caring community.

Sincerely,

Cheryl Perreault, Hopkinton Youth Commission
Jean Vazza, Hopkinton Youth Services

Depression and Suicide: Safeguarding Youth, Preventing Tragedies and Building Resiliency.”

The Hopkinton High School counseling department will present a parent program entitled “Depression and Suicide: Safeguarding Youth, Preventing Tragedies and Building Resiliency.” The featured speakers for the program will be Kelley Cunningham and Kim Kates from Samaritans Inc, a national organization aimed at preventing suicide. The program will be held on Wednesday, April 6th at 7pm in the high school auditorium. All interested parents, students and community members are invited to attend.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Lee Greco, HHS Counseling Department Coordinator at 508-497-9820 ext 1138.

FREE “BEN SPEAKS” PRESENTATION ON APRIL 12, 7-8 P.M.
INSPIRES HOPKINTON COMMUNITY TO “BE THE CHANGE”

HOPKINTON, Mass. – Judy Giovangelo, Executive Director of Medway-based “Ben Speaks Louder Than Words,” will share her inspirational story and strategies for empowering youth with the Hopkinton community at a free presentation at the Hopkinton Public Library (13 Main Street) on April 12 from 7-8 p.m. This presentation offers an inspirational proposal to communities and youth – and the adults who care for them - to find ways to “be the change you want to see in the world” (M. Gandhi).

After her teenage son’s struggle with mental illness, bullying, and substance abuse and consequent suicide, Giovangelo began speaking out and telling her story, and launched a 501c3 organization in 2010 called “Ben Speaks Louder Than Words”. The organization’s mission is to raise awareness about suicide and eliminate the use of self-destructive behaviors leading to this final act. “Ben Speaks” helps families find support and resources through the expressive arts via C.A.R.E. (Creating Alternative Resources for Expression), along with a variety of other activities including an annual Concert To Remember (11/11/11), expressive arts workshops, bullying prevention presentations, and much more.

Hosted by the Hopkinton Youth Commission, Hopkinton Youth Services, and the Hopkinton Public Library, this presentation is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 508-435-8638.