David Lawrence Centers to Host Youth Suicide Prevention Talk with Suicide Attempt Survivor; Emma Benoit

David Lawrence Centers to Host Youth Suicide Prevention Talk with Suicide Attempt Survivor; Emma Benoit

Naples, Fl – David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC), Collier County’s only comprehensive, not-for-profit behavioral health provider serving children, adults and families, has partnered with the Collier County Public Schools to host Emma Benoit, a national advocate for youth suicide prevention and a suicide attempt survivor, to share her powerful story through a series of presentations for students, parents, grandparents, and others interested in supporting youth mental health.

Emma became extremely passionate about suicide prevention after surviving a suicide attempt in 2017, the summer before her senior year in high school. At the time, she was a popular varsity cheerleader with a supportive family and lots of friends, but on the inside, she was filled with depression and anxiety, and had never told a soul about it.

“I had this sense that sharing dark feelings came with a stigma, so I kept quiet,” shared Emma. “I felt isolated and alone and thought there was something wrong with me.”

Her attempt resulted in a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed but helped her find faith and purpose by propelling her on a mission to use her painful experience and miraculous recovery to help others.

“A lack of community and conversation about mental health factored into what caused me to attempt suicide,” added Emma. “Now I am on a mission to share my story to help open up conversations about mental health. I want people to understand they are not alone and there is help — and that you can overcome your mental health challenges and thrive.”

There are 1.2 million suicide attempts every year in the US. This is a public health crisis that claims the lives of 20 young people every day. The devastating ripple effects impact millions more. With so many lives at stake, more must be done to address this epidemic.

DLC is committed to spreading mental health awareness and suicide prevention and hosts a variety of educational talks throughout the year. Emma first spoke in Naples to a sold-out audience at the 2022 DLC Sound Minds Luncheon. Following the overwhelming response to her message, DLC became committed to bring Emma back so more youth and families could hear her story and learn from her experiences.

In addition to the three school-based presentations held in February, DLC will host Emma for a screening of her documentary, My Ascension, at Moorings Presbyterian Church located at 91 Harbour Dr in Naples on March 2, 2023 at 5:30 pm. The event will include a Q&A with Emma immediately following the screening. Attendees will learn how to identify mental health challenges among youth and how to support suicide prevention.

Tickets and Information

Attendance for this event is free. Proceeds from the event will improve access to DLC’s innovative prevention, intervention, treatment, and education services.

To register, visit DLCenters.org/Events or contact DLC at 239-354-1419 or donorcare@DLCenters.org.

More About Emma Beniot

A few months after her attempt, Emma Benoit started the website liferejuvenated.org and a blog to share her story and recovery journey to help other teens who are struggling. In early 2018, Emma began working on a documentary film called My Ascension, which was release in 2021, that chronicles her recovery journey and advocacy work, while addressing the youth suicide epidemic.

Emma serves as an Ambassador for LivingWorks, the world’s leader in suicide prevention training. She has been featured on numerous news programs and podcasts including the Jada Pinkett Smith’s hit show “Red Table Talk” and the Dr. Phil Show. 

Emma is an uplifting speaker who has shared her powerful story and message with thousands of people at in person and virtual conferences and events including: LivingWorks and California Department of Education Youth Summit, National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health Conference, LSU School of Social Work Conference, Arkansas Youth Mental Health Conference, Hope Rising Suicide Prevention Summit and the Hope Squad National Conference.

Emma is a 2018 graduate of Dutchtown High School, whose strength and motivation are rooted in her strong faith and supportive family.

About David Lawrence Centers

Southwest Florida nonprofit David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) is a national leader providing compassionate, advanced, and exceptional mental health, substance use, and integrated healthcare solutions, available for children, adolescents and adults. DLC’s innovative treatment includes inpatient, outpatient, residential, and community-based services – a comprehensive system of care funded by community and government support. Each year, DLC serves 9,000 people through over 314,000 treatment sessions. To learn more, please call 239-455-8500 or visit www.DLCenters.org.

Feb 21, 2023 | Blog, Mental Health, Press Releases

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