Preventing suicide: Family determined to open Sarnia drop-in centre

A painting by artist Karen Benusik of Deker Bauer, who took his own life in August at the age of 17 Submitted Photo

Journal Staff

A Sarnia family is working to open a 24-hour drop-in centre for adults and youth in crisis.

The Deker Bauer Foundation for Suicide Prevention has asked Sarnia council for $23,000 to cover start-up costs.

The new foundation has a board of directors and applied for Ontario Trillium Foundation funding, said Teresa Ingles, whose son Derek Bauer, 17, committed suicide Aug. 9.

The teen struggled with mental health from childhood but was devastated when a close friend was struck and killed by a car while skateboarding in Sarnia last summer, she said.

“That really affected Deker … It was hard. It was the first death he fully experienced.”

Ingles and her family are now dealing with their own grief.  Part of what keeps her going is her mission to create a space for people dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts, she said.

The drop-in centre would offer a safe haven, programs in suicide alertness and help connect those in crisis with resources.

And it would be open 24/7, she said.

“Grief, depression and suicide don’t just happen from 9 to 5 or during a scheduled appointment. There have been many nights when I wish there was somewhere I could go to talk.”

Donations to the Deker Bauer Foundation for Suicide Prevention can be made at any Scotiabank. Ingles can be contacted at teresa_ingles66@yahoo.com.

For more, visit the Facebook page, The Deker Bauer Foundation For Suicide Prevention.

With files from Heather Wright, Petrolia Independent