Town of Arlington
Department of Health and Human Services
Christine Bongiorno, Director
27 Maple St.
Arlington, MA 02476
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Christine Bongiorno
Email: [email protected]
*Media Advisory* Arlington to Host Community Forum on Suicide Prevention and Depression Awareness
ARLINGTON — The Arlington Youth Health & Safety Coalition, along with Arlington Public Schools and the Arlington Youth Counseling Center (AYCC), announces that they will host a community forum on suicide prevention and depression awareness this month.
The “Mental Health Awareness Night” event will feature a special screening of the documentary film, “You Are Not Alone,” followed by a panel discussion about the relation between mental health problems and the opioid epidemic.
Thursday, Jan. 28 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Lowe Auditorium, Arlington High School, 869 Massachusetts Ave.
The theme for this forum is “Mental Health Awareness,” featuring a panel moderated by Stephanie Leydon, a WGBH reporter most recently known for her coverage of the opioid crisis and mental health issues in the Greater Boston area.
Forum participants will learn how they can support their family members and about the lifesaving suicide prevention work provided by Samaritans, Inc., including stories from those who have lost a loved one to suicide, and testimonials from Samaritans’ volunteers and experts.
“Depression and anxiety run rampant in teenagers nationally, and Arlington is no different,” said Andrea Razi, Arlington High School’s Intervention Coordinator and Social Worker. “We try to reach as many students as we can in the schools every day through programs about substance abuse, depression, anxiety and suicide prevention which have all helped to bring these important issues to light.”
In the most recent Arlington school survey, 11 percent of high school students and 15 percent of middle school students reported serious thoughts of suicide in the past 30 days.
“Substance abuse and mental health are so closely related, the two go hand-in-hand,” said Ivy Laplante, Director of the Arlington Youth Health & Safety Coalition. “In order for our work in substance abuse prevention to be fruitful, we must also place an emphasis on mental health promotion.”
During the weeks leading up to the event, Arlington High School students will discuss depression, suicide awareness and prevention from a Samaritans educator.
- Moderator Stephanie Leydon, reporter for WGBH
- Lauren Gablinske, Manager, Community Education and Outreach – Samaritans Inc.
- Andrea Razi, LICSW, Intervention Coordinator/Social Worker – Arlington High School
- Nanci Siegel, Ottoson Middle School Guidance Counselor
- Linda Suzuki, LICSW, Therapist – Arlington Youth Counseling Center
For more information about the event, contact Andrea Razi at [email protected].