The reality of depression and suicide has inspired the founder of 1-800-SUICIDE to create a format for delivering a message of hope in the form of the Alive! Mental Health Fair, which will be hosted at Sierra College Feb. 27.
The fair will present the student-created “Post Your Own Secret” exhibit with compelling documentaries and a one-hour suicide prevention training program called Question, Persuade and Refer.
The event will include booths with information, therapy and local help resources, as well as offering education in suicide prevention with the goal of building a more effective safety net for all students at Sierra College.
The fair aims to inspire and raise awareness of alternative mental health therapies such as Graffiti Art Therapy.
The Alive! Mental Health Fair is created through a partnership between the nonprofit organization, Kristin Brooks Hope Center, the founder of 1-800 SUICIDE, the National Hopeline Network and IMAlive LLC. 1-800 SUICIDE provides a lifesaving service that is private and confidential for people in need.
The callers are routed directly to the closest crisis center in their immediate area so that quick referrals to behavioral health services and other supports can be offered.
Since 1998, 1-800-SUICIDE has received more than 6 million calls and rescued more than 10,000 individuals who had already initiated suicide plans.
The keynote speaker for the Alive! Mental Health Fair & Suicide Prevention Tour, Reese Butler, personally understands the struggles those who are affected by mental health issues face on a daily basis.
“It has taken 14 years to have the chance to do a college suicide prevention tour in California focusing on mental health issues,” Reese said.
“Which was my original goal after my wife Kristin died by suicide in 1998 in Vallejo, Calif.”
The goal was delayed by the massive undertaking of building the National Hopeline Network of more than 200 crisis centers to answer the calls from 1-800-SUICIDE, Reese said.
“It’s great to finally be able to deliver a positive, progressive-thinking mental health fair for an important cause, which will make a direct impact and help people in desperate situations that need it the most,” Reese said.
People turn to 1-800- SUICIDE in moments of bravery, confusion and honesty, Reese said.
“The folks at the Hopeline Centers have been answering those calls for over 14 years, picking up the phone when it’s mattered most,” Reese said.
“To be able to use the popularity of PostSecret to attract students to the fair and hopefully get educated as to the warning signs is an honor for me.”
Recently, the Hope Center recorded a public service announcement for the Alive! Mental Health Fair. For information, visit http://alivefair.com.
“It has taken 14 years to have the chance to do a college suicide prevention tour in California focusing on mental health issues.”
— Reese Butler