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Press Release

City to Host Community Forum on Suicide Prevention September 21, 2011

Release date: 9/12/2011

Members of the community are encouraged to attend a Suicide Prevention forum on Wednesday, September 21 at Farmington Hills City Hall. The meeting will begin at 6:45 p.m. with refreshments and networking, and the program will run from 7:00pm to 8:30pm The forum is targeted at parents, youth (ages 12 to 18), teachers, the faith community, service club members, and anyone else who has regular contact with young people.

“The Epidemic of Suicide” program is designed to empower participants and show them how they can play a pivotal role in preventing this tragic occurrence. The recent alarming increase in suicide attempts seen by the Farmington Hills Police Department led the City Council to take action and bring the community together to find a solution.

“Nationally, suicide has reached epidemic proportions,” said Farmington Hills City Council Member Dr. Ken Massey. “Unfortunately a lot of people think it’s not their problem, but in reality it’s the entire community’s problem.” The topic is deeply personal to Dr. Massey and his wife Katherine, who lost their son Graham E. Smith to suicide in May of this year.

Featured speakers at the forum will include Eric Hipple, former Detroit Lion and current U-M Depression Center Outreach Coordinator, and Jeff Edwards, Chairman of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Both men lost their sons to suicide and now reach out to others to create an awareness of the disease of depression and its link to suicide.

“We want to bring community leaders together and show them how they can reach out to a troubled young person and offer them help,” said Dr. Massey. “We want to bring the topic ofdepression and suicide out into the open so that people will seek the help they need.”

The meeting is sponsored by the Farmington Area Suicide Prevention Task Force and the Graham E. Smith Memorial fund. For more information, call the City Manager’s Office at 248-871-2500.



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