The Brighton Youth Commission (BYC) will be hosting its 12th annual SPEAK (Suicide Prevention, Education, Awareness and Knowledge) Week May 1 - 6. SPEAK Week consists of a series of events designed to promote awareness in the community and among peers about the warning signs of suicide and awareness of local resources for those who are struggling. The youth-led, youth-driven initiative started in response to the 2011 death of a dear friend and classmate of the BYC, Joshua Dillon, then a Brighton High School Senior. SPEAK Week has grown each subsequent year, both in the activities offered and the number of schools involved.
“Mental health and self-care are so important, especially with the lingering challenges of the pandemic that still persist today,” said Giana Rocha, Former Chair of the BYC.
The public is encouraged to join this year’s SPEAK Week activities. See below for the schedule of events. The week will conclude with a 5K walk/run at Carmichael Park (650 Southern Street) on Saturday, May 6. The cost to participate in the 5K is $20 for adults and $15 for students (fee includes a candle, a T-shirt, and a swag bag). All proceeds will go towards future SPEAK projects. To register, go to www.speak5k.org.
Participating schools will be able to cater the following activities to their schedules to best accommodate students.
● QPR Training: In partnership with the Pennock Center for Counseling, the BYC will offer free QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) training to teach techniques and tools on how to manage a crisis situation. Dates will be announced soon.
● BYC SPEAK Video: This year's SPEAK video will be promoting the importance of access to mental health, suicide prevention, and community support. The video will be viewable during SPEAK Week on www.speak5k.org and live on Youtube.
● SPEAK Booklet: This booklet includes the SPEAK schedule, warning signs of suicide, mental health resources and inspirational messages. The booklet will be available during SPEAK Week at www.speak5k.org.
● Wear Yellow: Wear yellow in support of the color that raises awareness for suicide prevention.
Age-Appropriate Mental Health Activities: These activities will focus on areas such as self-care related to mental health, study habits, and decrease of student stress. All activities and resources can be found during SPEAK Week on www.speak5k.org.
May 6 - SPEAK Walk/Run: The week will conclude with the SPEAK Walk/Run at Carmichael Park (650 E. Southern St.). Details of the SPEAK Walk/Run schedule will be available on www.speak5k.org.
For more information about SPEAK Week or how you can get involved, visit www.speak5k.org or contact Youth Services Manager Tawnya Russell at email@example.com.