Cape C.A.R.E.S. to host annual 30 Days of Hope
Cape Coral C.A.R.E.S. will kick off today the 2009 30 Days of Hope, an event commemorating those who have committed suicide or survived an attempt.
Virginia Cervasio, executive director of the Community Awareness in Recognizing and Educating on Suicide, said statistics show that the number of suicides increase during the spring season.
Today’s event from 7-9 p.m. at the Cape Coral Yacht Club will let people know the center is available to help.
“The reason we chose this time of year is because suicide is highest in the springtime,” Cervasio said. “At the end of all this we want the community to know that C.A.R.E.S. is here. We have the resources, and they have a place to go.”
The Cape center is the only suicide-related organization in Southwest Florida.
A person who is contemplating suicide and visits the center will receive support, education and referrals to mental health professionals.
On May 2 at Grace Church Center, C.A.R.E.S. is hosting a concert by Miami-based artist “Seein,” who wrote a song about his experience with suicide.
There are also discounted tickets for a Miracle baseball night at Hammond Stadium.
Last year, Cervasio was recognized by the Reader’s Digest “Make It Matter” initiative and $100,000 was given to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on her behalf.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a national nonprofit that strives to prevent suicide.
She could not accept the money for the Cape center because it is not a national organization.
Half of the donation went to organize a leadership conference in Dallas, Texas, and the other portion will help bring to Lee County the Gate Keeper program. It is an educational program on suicide prevention slated to open sometime in the future.
“It (Gate Keeper) is a program where everyone is invited, and it is geared towards teachers and anyone in the public service arena,” Cervasio said.
For more information on the center, visit: www.leecountycares.org.