Flagler Lifeline, a volunteer committee and Flagler Cares affiliate established to broaden conversation and awareness of suicide, will host a public town hall event at 6 p.m. May 23 at the Flagler County Association of Realtors building, 4101 East Moody Blvd. in Bunnell.
The Town Hall will feature presentations by mental health experts, suicide survivors and others who have been touched by suicide, and will be facilitated by Colleen Conklin, the long-time school board member and one of Flagler Lifeline’s founders. For the past several years Conklin has hosted periodic events, including electronic town halls, to bring awareness to bullying and suicide prevention. The May 23 town hall, like Flagler Lifeline’s emergence, is partly a result of Flagler County’s place in 2017 as the county with the leading suicide rate in the state, proportional to its population.
The town hall is also an opportunity for residents to hear from local resources, and continue the dialogue about how to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and treatment.
“This event will touch and benefit so many,” Conklin said. “Those who love someone battling depression; those struggling and looking for resources; those who are concerned about warning signs and unsure what to do to help; those who are suicide survivors and those left behind when the act was completed; those who are service providers wanting to get information out; and those in a leadership and policy position who are willing to actually do something to address this issue on a local level.”
Conklin added, “Don’t hide in silence. Come out and join this growing community of advocates, survivors and professionals. Let’s work together to be number one best place to live, not to die by suicide.”
All Flagler residents are encouraged to attend to learn more about:
• Suicide death trends in Flagler County
• Warning signs and how to help
• Local mental health and wellness providers
• Help and Hope
The Townhall is free and open to all and light refreshments will be served.
The following individuals will join Conklin as presenters: Carrie Baird, Executive Director of Flagler Cares; Michael Crisanto, Regional Suicide Prevention Specialist and Milissa Holland, Palm Coast Mayor.