Two Villages: Mental health, suicide focus of town hall meeting

Larry Limpf

News Editor

Mental health issues will be the focus of the next Two Villages initiative town hall meeting.
The meeting is scheduled for March 19 from 1:30-3 p.m. at Woodmore High School, 633 Fremont St., Elmore.
Youth suicide in particular will be addressed at this year’s community town hall meeting, which will offer expert panelists and community resources to offer insight and guidance.
Panelists will include Ann Suss, Suicide Prevention Specialist and a resident of the Woodmore district; Melanie White, Executive Director of Northwest Ohio office of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Peggy Myers, ambassador of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention-Toledo Chapter.
The panelists will discuss warning signs of suicide, prevention strategies, and how to advocate for others.
There will also be tables with free information about community resources available a half hour before the meeting and after the meeting.
The resources are being provided by the Prevention Partnership Coalition, Ottawa County Prevention Coalition, NAMI Northwest, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention-Toledo Chapter, and Two Villages.
Residents, teachers, and leaders of youth activities from the Woodmore and surrounding communities are invited to the free town hall event.
No registration is required.
Since 2010, Two Villages has been hosting community events for the Woodmore and neighboring communities, addressing behavioral and cultural issues that put youth wellness at risk.
In the past three years, the pandemic has placed unexpected burdens on families due to isolation, changes in family dynamics, as well as changes in work and school schedules, organizers of the event said.
“Two Villages organized in 2009 following the loss of young lives in our community. The first event was held in 2010 focusing on high risk behaviors among teens. In the past 13 years, we have hosted 14 community events and 11 events for students in the Woodmore district. Our goal is to create a community environment in which to raise healthy and resilient children.
“Interestingly, we never used the term mental health in any of our deliberations until last year. With the stigma being addressed in the media and by professional athletes and entertainers, the planning team decided it was time to be courageous in offering this very difficult topic of youth suicide. As we finalized the details of the 2023 Town Hall, we regularly hear more statistics about the effects of the pandemic on mental health. We know our panelists' comments will be insightful,” said Jayne Klett, a facilitator for Two Villages.


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