The Washington Stealth announced a partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) back in September and the two organizations have been working together to generate funding and awareness for suicide prevention programs. This weekend, AFSP will be presenting “Players for Prevention” night at the Stealth home game against the Edmonton Rush on January 28 at the Comcast Arena at Everett.??
In 2008, there were over 36,000 reported suicide deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That same year, Washington ranked in the top twelve states with 865 deaths from suicide. In each year since 2000, the suicide rate has increased and is among the top ten causes of death in the nation.?
“The Washington Chapter is thrilled to be partnering with the Washington Stealth for suicide prevention efforts throughout the state,” said Jo McNeal, AFSP Area Director for the Pacific Northwest. “It is amazing how many athletes and others struggle with depression and other mental illnesses; our hope is by partnering with the Stealth we can all work towards bringing the stigma of mental illness and suicide out into the open for better understanding and awareness.”
“Players for Prevention” night at the Comcast Arena will feature several fundraisers with all the proceeds benefiting AFSP. The night will feature an auction in which fans can bid on various Stealth items as well as items and experiences donated by local companies and sports organizations. AFSP will also hold a Launch-A-Ball fundraiser in which fans can purchase tennis balls to throw onto the turf for a chance to win numerous prizes. “Players for Prevention” night will take place at the Comcast Arena at Everett, when the Stealth faces the Edmonton Rush at 7:15pm.?
The Stealth was also a presenting sponsor at the Out of the Darkness Community Walk which took place at Green Lake Park in Seattle on October 1. Several members of the Stealth organization on participated in the walk. The Out of the Darkness walks are the largest events of their kind for suicide prevention. Last year, funds raised in Washington walks were used to distribute educational materials to public middle and high schools throughout the state.
“This partnership is about hope and prevention by bringing this topic into the open. Suicide is preventable and we can do more to give people options,” said Stealth President David Takata. “Our fans will rise to support such a great community cause. The Stealth is extremely proud and honored to join AFSP.”
The AFSP is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide. Funds raised by the AFSP go towards funding for scientific research, educational programs and providing programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk. For more information on AFSP, visit www.afsp.org.
To take part in the “Players for Prevention” event on January 28, visit www.stealthlax.com for more information and to purchase tickets for the game.