The Yavapai County Suicide Prevention Coalition and local mental health and addiction prevention agencies invite students, parents, grandparents, civic leaders – anyone – to attend a screening of the documentary film “Mon Ascension” on Wednesday May 11 from 5 to 7:30 a.m.
The screening of the documentary to help spread hope and prevent suicide will be held free of charge at Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 Sheldon Street, Prescott
This film features 16-year-old cheerleader Emma Benoit from Louisiana, who in 2017, despite seeming to have it all, was crippled after attempting suicide, a journey that the now young adults chronicle for helping other teens and young adults seek resources to help them deal with depression, anxiety or live with silent pain so they see no joy in their future. In her recovery, Emma has what she calls “Hope Squad”, a school-based suicide prevention program. She too shares her story and messages of hope through her website liferejuvenated.org.
After the film, the program will include a virtual Q&A session with Emma and filmmaker Greg Dicharry who also shares the documentary stories of two other “remarkable” teenagers who took their own lives.
Mental health professionals in the region say talking about suicide doesn’t sow a seed, but rather opens dialogues that can lead teens and others to the help they need to see past their struggles and of their immediate pain.
The Coalition’s program coordinator, Kelly Lee, and her fellow organizers have reiterated in their publicity campaigns that this event aims to save lives by providing helpful information and resources. The sponsoring agencies are the coalition, MATFORCE, Yavapai College, Polara Health, and Community Counts.
In 2021, national statistics indicated that the suicide rate was 14.5 per 100,000 population, 11.2 per 100,000 for adolescents aged 15-19. In Arizona, the teen suicide rate is above average, and mental health officials want to change that trajectory.
“We want to fill each of the more than 1,000 seats at the Yavapai Performing Arts Center,” Lee said.