SKOWHEGAN — Almost $950 was collected lately to buy supplies for the libraries in Skowhegan and Canaan that elevate consciousness about suicide prevention and concerning the LGBTQ group within the space.
The fundraising effort was spurred by the suicide on Could 31 of Nico Lovell-Mahan, 18, of Canaan. Lovell-Mahan was a senior at Skowhegan Space Excessive College on the time and recognized as nonbinary.
A lot of the cash was raised Thursday throughout Nico’s Night time at The Miller’s Desk restaurant in Skowhegan. Jessica-Ann Mahan, Nico’s mom, helped coordinate the occasion. For each buy on the restaurant, $5 was donated to the fundraiser at the side of a silent public sale and donation bucket.
“Jessica has chosen to make a optimistic out of this tragedy by eager to share about suicide consciousness and training,” mentioned Maureen Delahanty, an organizer for the occasion. “That’s the reason these funds will go to the Canaan and Skowhegan libraries to buy books and academic supplies.”
Delahanty and Mahan have been working with a number of organizations to type a panel that may work to supply outreach to the group. Somerset Public Well being and the Maine chapter of the Nationwide Affiliation on Psychological Sickness are a few the teams concerned.
Danielle Denis, group well being educator at Somerset Public Well being, mentioned the targets for the group are to “construct resilience and have fun our youth.”
“The native circumstances locally completely maintain the issues inside our group,” Denis mentioned. “That is true about suicide, substance misuses, group violence, baby abuse or every other drawback impacting our group as an entire.”
Understanding these circumstances, moderately than putting blame, helps clarify why an issue exists inside a group, she mentioned.
A part of the work the group is tasked with is figuring out the social, psychological, cultural and different components which might be “interacting in our group that paved the way to suicidal ideas and conduct,” she mentioned.
The Maine Built-in Youth Well being Survey, carried out by the state, signifies that about 18% of highschool college students have significantly thought of suicide within the final 12 months. Almost 11% have tried suicide within the final yr.
“Suicide is taken into account a silent epidemic, it impacts everyone,” Delahanty mentioned. “It doesn’t matter if you’re straight, homosexual, your racial ethnicity, your tradition, your faith, your psychological talents, your bodily talents. It impacts everyone.”
Creating change, she mentioned, requires a broad effort.
“It’s going to take each certainly one of us to be the hope, to be the change, to be the one,” Delahanty mentioned. “Help is available in power. Please keep in mind Nico Lovell-Mahan.”
Jessica-Ann Mahan mentioned she was heartened by the sum of money that was raised.
“I didn’t suppose there have been that many individuals that cared,” she mentioned, later including, “Nico wants a voice, and that’s what we’re going to do.”