Local Leaders Host Suicide Awareness Forum

Suicide Awareness Forum

Councilman John Krummen and DuPage County Board Member Dawn DeSart hosted a suicide awareness forum for the public.

“We lose so many, especially teenagers in our community to suicide and we thought this, January 13, would be a perfect time because it’s right after the holidays and through spring that most suicides occur,” said DeSart.

“I was invited to an event where a Naperville North High School student put on a run for a fellow student who had passed away just a few months earlier, and it was suicide. And then it dawned on me that this is a bigger concern than one would think and maybe as a community we should talk about it,” said Krummen.

Open Discussion

“Community Conversations: Suicide Awareness and the Path Toward Hope” was an open discussion where people could ask questions, raise their concerns, and share their personal stories.

One mother lost her son to suicide – one reason she cited was academic pressures.

“Grades, scores, academics, achievements all of those things aren’t nearly as important as them just being here in the end. Because frankly that’s sort of my measuring stick now and it would not have been before,” said Jennifer Pedley.

Panel of Experts

Around 35 people attended the program at the Naperville Municipal Center to also hear from a panel of experts who talked about risk factors, warning signs, and taking that first step.

“Don’t be afraid to ask the question. I think so many people are afraid to ask because they aren’t sure what to do or aren’t sure how to help, but sometimes people are just looking for someone to talk to. And then know the resources,” said Lori Carnahan, director of behavioral health the DuPage County Health Department.

Resources for Help

There are many local resources including the DuPage County health department’s 24/7 crisis hotline, the Alive Center, and counselors at the high schools.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.

 

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