Suicide Prevention Advocates to Hold Two Screenings of ‘My Ascension’ in Quad Cities through Friday | The daily mail

The compelling story of a teenage girl with seemingly everything going for her and her fall into private despair that inspires her to attempt suicide is an area of ​​mental health, youth activists and the County Suicide Prevention Coalition from Yavapai want to share with teens and parents this week.

On Wednesday, October 5, the coalition with its community partners will present the documentary film “My Ascension” in the auditorium of Glassford Hill Middle School in Prescott Valley, 6901 Panther Path, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The film is aimed at middle and high school youth as well as parents and community members who may wish to learn more about how to address suicide in their community. The film focuses on Emma Benoit of Louisiana, a 2017 high school cheerleader who now seeks to walk again and share her story of angst and hope with those who silently suffer from depression and anxiety. .

Beyond the film, the coalition will have mental health professionals available to answer questions or offer support to anyone in need. There is no cost to attend this event and no registration.

Two evenings later, on October 7 at 6 p.m., Polara Health organized with The Launch Pad Teen Center, 424 6th St., another screening of the film, which will be organized at the same time for teenagers in their ground floor . area with a separate projection for adults in their upstairs area. Again, there is no cost or registration required and counselors will be available for a Q&A after the film.

The Coalition, Polara Health, Community Counts, and MatForce, Yavapai County’s Addiction Treatment Coalition, are teaming up to share this film with a broad community audience because it offers insight into the realities of teens struggling to cope. to various burdens that cause them to think they have no way out. Emma is proof that most teenagers and adults who commit suicide did not want to end their lives. they were just looking for a way to end their pain. She admits at the start of the documentary that the moment she fired the shot that ultimately left her in a wheelchair, she regretted her actions. In the pain of that moment, Emma said she knew she wanted to live.

In the years since her attempt, Emma has spoken with hundreds of teenagers, some of whom she sadly died by suicide, and reinforced in them her will to become independent again – she can now walk and drive a car with energy. ‘assistance. She, too, is motivated to direct young people to resources in their communities that can help them. Her research introduced her to “Hope Squad”, a program started at a high school in Provo, Utah. The peer-to-peer program that trains high school students to recognize and report their concerns is one she helped start at a local high school near her hometown. She hopes the “Hope Squad” program will expand to other locations across the country.

Emma’s journey has not been without its challenges, and she knows that not everyone is ready to hear her message. For those willing to listen, however, Emma wants to make a connection; she wants anyone struggling with their sanity or sense of self to know that they are worthy and capable of finding a way forward.

On her website, Emma highlights some statistics: 20 teenagers and young adults die by suicide every day in the United States. In 2018, 7,618 men and women under the age of 25 committed suicide.

A community leader from Winn Parish, Louisiana praised Emma’s persistence in the effort because it makes a difference for those who feel they must be left alone in their personal darkness. Emma’s wit, perseverance, commitment and effervescent smile proved a flashlight to many, the leader said.

Across the country now, anyone suffering from a mental health crisis or suicidal thoughts can dial 9-8-8 day and night. On the other end of that line will be a trained person who can comfort them and direct them to resources to help them through whatever crisis they may be going through at that time.

In Prescott, the annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk to Fight Suicide will take place on Saturday, October 22 at AC Williams Granite Creek Park with registration at 9 a.m. and the walk at 10 a.m. The walk always includes speakers and resource tables to help people connect with area resources.

Filmmaker Greg Dicharry interviews families of other teens who lost their lives to suicide, as well as a family of another teen who, with supports, opted for help over a funeral.

The first local screening of this film took place in May at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center. Some 150 mental health professionals and community members participated in the program organized by the coalition.

The coalition and its partners are all clear that the reason they want to get this movie out to as many people as possible is to do what Emma is trying to do by sharing her story: “Save lives.”

At the end of the film, Emma can be seen walking across a pier to a beach. She takes her time, but with each step, though she may lose her grip, propels her one step closer to her destination – an apt analogy for anyone navigating their life journey.

For more detailed information on Emma’s story, how to arrange a film screening and national statistics, visit