Suicide prevention event set in Franklin

From staff reports

The Venango County Community Support Program and the Venango County Suicide Prevention Task Force will host the third annual suicide prevention rally, “Let’s Band Together To Prevent Suicide,” on Friday, June 1, in Franklin’s Bandstand Park.

The really will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. There is no admission fee.

The rally will kick off with the national anthem followed by presentations from members of the Suicide Prevention Task Force.

An Honoring of the Veterans ceremony will be held along with a guest speaker, Kevin Hines, an award-winning global speaker, best-selling author, documentary filmmaker and suicide prevention and mental health advocate .

The afternoon and evening activities will feature local musicians and singers like Eddie and Grace St. Clair, Ashleigh Bennett, Michaela Dodds and Mitch Littler.

In between the bands, there will be guest speakers sharing stories of hope and survival around the topic of suicide, reading poems and doing skits.

There will also be children and family activities from 3 to 6 p.m.

Rally attendees will build a Wall of Hope.

A number of Venango County volunteer groups including churches and Health and Human Service agencies will have information tables set up with literature about health and mental health, suicide prevention and hope.

Food vendors, door prizes and event T-shirts will be available for purchase.

The evening will close with a Passing of the Hope Candlelight Vigil.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for all ages.

It is the second leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year-olds. In veterans, suicide is roughly 50 percent more prevalent than in civilian groups of similar demographics.

More information is available by calling (814) 758-7978 or (814) 432-4280.