We Need to Talk About Suicide: Singing Kevin’s Song

We Need to Talk About Suicide: Singing Kevin’s Song
November 7, 2018 paperlesslion
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A compelling new documentary sheds light to dispel the stigma around mental illness and details what we are doing in Michigan to address the national epidemic of suicide. “Singing Kevin’s Song” sheds crucial light on the public health crisis of suicide and what can be done to reach out to individuals in need. The program is available on-demand.

Along with the premiere of their film, Kevin’s Song, a Michigan nonprofit organization founded by Gail and John Urso of Grosse Pointe Park after losing their son Kevin to suicide in 2013, will host the third annual Conference on Suicide: Confronting a Public Health Crisis, Nov. 8-10 at The Inn at St. Johns in Plymouth. This three-day conference will feature regional and national experts on the topic, including Colleen Creighton, Executive Director of the American Association of Suicidology; James Craig, Chief of the Detroit Police Department; and Thomas Joiner, Ph.D., Robert O. Lawton Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, an author and leading expert on suicide. Click here to register.


Details from DPTV:

We need to talk about suicide.

We need to talk about risk factors and triggers and warning signs. We need to talk with friends, coworkers, family members and neighbors. Because the fact of the matter is, if we do not start talking about suicide, this public health crisis will impact each and every one of us at some point in our lives.

Just ask the parents of Nicholas Klingler, who took his life in 2013 at the age of 17. In hindsight, they could see the warning signs, but along their journey with their son’s depression, there wasn’t enough time or resources to address his personal crisis. They lament what they didn’t know and didn’t know how to say.   In his mother’s words: “I wonder if he could have talked about it … I really do think things would be different.”

Too many among us are shouldering the burden of depression, anxiety and mental illness alone. Even those who by outward appearances seem to have it all, may be at risk for suicide.

Take a look at Will Heininger, a former U-M football star who appeared to be on the path for success. But Heininger battled depression on his own for quite some time before finally speaking up and turning to counseling. Now he talks about depression, mental health and suicide publicly, as a program coordinator with the University of Michigan Depression Center.

Heininger and the Klinglers are two of the stories featured in a new 30-minute documentary, “Singing Kevin’s Song,” that airs on Detroit Public TV (56.1) on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 11:30 p.m. It can also be viewed on the DPTV website at any time.

This compelling short film highlights the work being done in our state to erase the stigma associated with mental illness and raise awareness of suicide warning signs and prevention.

As you watch “Singing Kevin’s Song,” you can’t help but hear the same resounding theme: We need to talk about suicide. From the mental health professional working to stem the tide of suicide amongst men ages 25-64 to the guidance counselor who is working tirelessly to equip her student body with the tools to help themselves and their classmates to the parents who are mourning the loss of their son, gone too soon, the common refrain is: We need to talk about suicide.

If we do not offer an opportunity for those struggling to have these conversations, we leave them to fight an often-losing battle on their own. Many who need help never make it to a mental health professional so it is up to us – the family, friends, neighbors and co-workers – to recognize the warning signs and have the tough conversations.

We need to talk about suicide.

 “Singing Kevin’s Song” is produced by Kevin’s Song, a local nonprofit organization founded by Gail and John Urso of Grosse Pointe Park after losing their son Kevin to suicide in 2013. Gail and John are committed to continuing the conversation about suicide and providing a central hub for those looking for help and to share support and best practices in the fight against suicide.

The organization is quickly becoming a sustaining presence in the suicide education and prevention community by actively working with other suicide prevention organizations to increase awareness and help eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness.

Along with the premiere of their film, Kevin’s Song will be hosting the third annual Conference on Suicide: Confronting a Public Health Crisis, Nov. 8-10 at The Inn at St. Johns in Plymouth. This three-day conference will feature regional and national experts on the topic, including Colleen Creighton, Executive Director of the American Association of Suicidology; James Craig, Chief of the Detroit Police Department; and Thomas Joiner, Ph.D., Robert O. Lawton Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, an author and leading expert on suicide.

You can register for the conference here.

 Please help us stop the silence!