Mental health IS important

According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the third leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 24.

Even more alarming, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children ages 10 to 14.

No community is immune to the devastation and confusion felt when a young person is lost to suicide.

The Suicide Prevention Collaborative of the Forest Lake Area Partnership for Families has joined forces with Stomp Out Suicide, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) and Stars & Strikes Entertainment Center to draw attention to this topic.

An event focusing on suicide and mental health awareness, education and stigma reduction will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the Stars & Strikes Entertainment Center, 5063 273rd St. in Wyoming.

The event is titled “Let’s Talk About It:  Mental Health IS as Important as Physical Health.” It is free and open to all.

From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., guests can eat a meal and visit the resource fair.

At 6:30 Dr. Linda Madsen, superintendent of Forest Lake Area Schools, will give opening remarks and introduce the keynote speaker:   Dr. Dan Reidenberg is executive director of SAVE, a national non-profit agency working to prevent suicide.

This will be followed by youth and adult panels discussing their experiences with mental health, suicide and suicide prevention.

The goal of the event is to increase awareness of the many services and resources available that support social, medical and mental health needs of youth and adults.