Everyone is welcome to share stories and resources for hope at a public screening of My Ascension, a documentary film to spread hope and fight suicide, that will be shown at The Woods in Merrifield on Monday, Feb. 7, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Following the film, a panel discussion will take place with Emma Benoit, the young woman featured in the film, Smiles for Jake representatives, and Cuyuna Regional Medical Center Behavioral Health professionals.
A suicide attempt left 16-year-old varsity cheerleader Benoit paralyzed but propelled her on a mission to use her painful experience to help others find hope and stay alive. My Ascension is a feature length documentary that chronicles Benoit’s inspiring journey and quest to walk again as she worked to bring Hope Squad, a school-based suicide prevention program, to Louisiana. The film also highlights the stories of two remarkable young people who tragically did not survive their attempts, and those watching learn first-hand from their families, friends, school officials, and suicide prevention experts about the devastating effect of suicide and what can be done to prevent it.
Twenty young people die by suicide every day in the United States, according to the National Institute on Mental Health. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people under 25 and there are approximately 1.2 million suicide attempts every year. The ripple effects of these deaths and attempts devastate millions more. My Ascension shines light on the reality of this ongoing public health crisis and is positively impacting lives by sharing hope, information, and best practices. When suicide attempt survivors such as Benoit share their stories of recovery, it often prevents other from attempting.
Sponsored by Smiles for Jake and CRMC, My Ascension film screenings and panel discussions are also being held at Crosby-Ironton and Pillager high schools.
Space is limited for the event at the The Woods. A light dinner and beverages will be provided. Reservations are requested at www.smilesforjake.org/emma.