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Flying kites of hope: Sarnia to honour World Suicide Prevention Day

Published on

Tara Jeffrey

Canatara Park will be alive with kite-flying, live music, inspiring speakers and a message of hope on Sept. 10 when World Suicide Prevention Day is honoured in Sarnia.

“We want it to be a real positive, coming-together experience for people,” said Rob Mancusi, a member of the Sarnia Lambton Suicide Prevention Committee, which hosts the event, held to honour the lives of those whose pain and suffering overwhelmed their feelings of hope, and who died by suicide.

The goal, said Mancusi, is to provide comfort to those who grieve, remind them that they are not alone, and publicly declare and renew the commitment to preventing suicides in the community.

“We’ll have guest speakers, activities, local musicians, and even kites,” he said, noting their significance to this year’s celebration.

According to the Canadian Association of Suicide Prevention, kites were chosen to be the symbol for World Suicide Prevention Day because “the kite can represent the person we have lost and the string represents the connection we will have with them forever.”

Local artist and educator Dave Moore — known to feature vibrant, colourful kites in his work over the years — has created a large banner to be on display at the event. Participants will have the opportunity to write notes to their loved ones on the banner, and Moore will be speaking about the significance of the kites.

“This was really special to me,” said Moore, whose family recently experienced the loss of a young person to suicide. “There’s never just one victim.”

Also speaking at the event is 25-year-old Jenna Bayne, whose battle with mental illness nearly consumed her as a teen growing up in Sarnia, she said.

“I am a suicide survivor, and I got a second chance at life,” said Bayne, who went on to achieve a Masters in Neuroscience with a specialization in nutrition, and now runs her own practice.

“I want to represent the possibility that, in sharing my success story, we can get through anything,” said the graduate of Northern Collegiate. “Life is going to be challenging, and we’re going to experience a lot of pain, hardships and obstacles.

“But I want young people to know that, when we work together, and we work through it — someday is going to be your day,” she continued. “You’re going to get out of this, and reach a higher potential that you didn’t even know was possible for you.”



WHAT: World Suicide Prevention Day, Sarnia-Lambton

WHEN: Sept. 10, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Canatara Park (In case of rain, at Pathways Health Centre for Children)

DETAILS: visit www.sarnialambtonsuicideprevention.com



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