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Royal Oak's Goal for September 25: Fill the Auditorium

Last updated Monday, September 23, 2013 22:43 ET

Royal Oak SAFE Task Force (SAFE is Suicide Awareness is For Everyone) hosts an “Evening of Empowerment.”

Royal Oak, U.S., 09/23/2013 / SubmitMyPR /

Royal Oak, Mich – The City of Royal Oak is launching the first program produced by the newly formed Royal Oak SAFE Task Force (SAFE is Suicide Awareness is For Everyone) called an “Evening of Empowerment” this Wednesday, September 25 from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at Royal Oak Middle School. “Suicides take more lives than homicides in our community,” said Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue. Indeed, suicide now takes more lives globally than homicide, war and natural disasters combined, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (2010). After a spate of suicides at a local gun range, Royal Oak created a two-prong approach to suicide prevention: a policy change at the gun range and a task force of volunteers devoted to suicide prevention for all.

What: Royal Oak SAFE’s Evening of Empowerment

Where: Royal Oak Middle School Auditorium ~ 709 N. Washington at Farnum, Royal Oak, Mich. 48067
When: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Doors Open 6 p.m. Program Begins: 6:30 p.m. Ends: 8:30 p.m.

Why: Suicide is an epidemic. Suicide does not discriminate. It is taking the lives of children, teens, adults and seniors. Survivors have been historically stigmatized and driven into silence. Royal Oak SAFE is breaking that silence with the help of more than 15 organizations. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) reports that 38,000 committed suicide in 2010, more than 450,000 attempted suicide that year, and many suicide attempts go unreported.

Who: Jeff Edwards, Board Chairman – American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Dr. William S. Miles, Director – Royal Oak Beaumont Psychiatric Inpatient
Corrigan O’Donohue, Chief of Police
Peggy K. Goodwin, City Commissioner / Survivor
Dave Poulton, Mayor Pro-Tem
Shawn Lewis-Lakins, Royal Oak Schools Superintendent
Kathy Knapp, Royal Oak Schools Counselor
Julie Farhat, Founder of Mind Over Matter (MOM’s Race) / Survivor
Emily Harris, 15 year old survivor of brother’s suicide
Heather Wazny, HAVEN’s Speakers Bureau/ Survivor
Jim Perlaki and Amelia Lehto, Common Ground
Jolanthe Bassett, Representing U. S. Armed Forces
Maureen Elliott, Beaumont Health System
Liz Bayer, HAVEN Advocate for survivors of domestic violence
Jaclyn Mucaria, Inner Door Center

Resources provided by:
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Beaumont Health System BRIDGE
Catholic Social Services
Center for Relationship and Sexual Health
Common Ground
Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance
Easter Seals
Eastwood Community Clinics
HAVEN
Inner Door Center
Know Resolve
Oakland County Health Department
Oakland Family Services
Royal Oak Community Coalition
Royal Oak Police Department
Royal Oak Youth Assistance
South Oakland Shelter
University of Michigan Depression Center