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FARMINGTON – In response to an alarming increase in Oakland County teen suicides, the Farmington Area Suicide Prevention Task Force is hosting a community conversation on suicide prevention in LGBT youth May 23. The event is targeted at parents, youth (ages 12 to 18), teachers, the faith community, service club members, and others who have regular contact with young people.
Featured speakers will include Affirmations Executive Director Dave Garcia, Mike Neubecker of PFLAG Downriver, psychologist Fran Brown and Naomi Khalil, director of instructional equity for Farmington Public Schools.
Suicides have increased by 21 percent in Oakland County since 2008, and Farmington Hills had 10 suicides in 2011, according to Police Chief Chuck Nebus. With a theme of “Let’s Talk About It,” the Farmington Area Suicide Prevention Task Force is bringing community leaders together to reach out to troubled youth and counteract alarming trends in suicide and suicide attempts.
Farmington Hills City Councilman Dr. Ken Massey has spearheaded efforts to remove the stigma of suicide. “We want to bring the topics of depression and suicide out into the open so that all people will seek the help they need,” said Dr. Massey, who lost his son, Graham E. Smith, to suicide last year.
The meeting will be at Farmington Hills City Hall from 7 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, call the City Manager’s Office at 248-871-2500.