Brooklyn Park Nonprofit Raises Awareness for Suicide Prevention
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, more than 47,0000 people died from suicide in 2017. It’s why a Brooklyn Park nonprofit is raising awareness to help those struggling with their mental health.
“Statistics say that for every person that dies by suicide a minimum of 137 people are directly affected by that,” said Chris Shaw, who’s working to raise awareness about mental health issues.
Shaw helped establish The Heart and Mind Connection in 2017. The Brooklyn Park nonprofit provides programs and services to those suffering with metal health issues.
Shaw knows firsthand the struggles of mental health.
“I grew up in New York City, had an alcoholic father who was physically and emotionally abusive. I was sexually assaulted when I was 12 years old by a stranger. All of these things that I blamed myself for as a young child. That’s really devastating,” said Shaw.
Those traumatic events in his life caused Shaw to withdraw from people. He went through a number of personal problems which he describes on his nonprofit’s website. His past experiences eventually led to a suicide attempt in 2015.
“On the night of my attempt I felt that there was no hope,” Shaw recalled. “I didn’t think I would ever feel better than I did in in that moment. I didn’t want to go on feeling that way and I didn’t know how else to fix it. My chemical use wasn’t doing enough to numb these bad feelings in my brain and it led to an attempt.”
After seeking help, Chris found out he had PTSD and bipolar disorder. Now he shares his story to those suffering with mental health issues.
“I hope that they understand that we are trying to as a nation normalize this conversation. People should know mental health issues are as important as physical health issues. Mental illness and substance abuse disorder are illnesses,” Shaw said.
Free Community Mental Health Awareness Event
Shaw’s nonprofit partnered with the city of Brooklyn Park to host a community mental health awareness event. It takes place Monday evening at the Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center. It starts at 5:30 p.m. with a documentary movie screening starting at 6:30 p.m. People should register in advance since seating is limited. For more information on the event or to register click here.