Nicholas Colson-Wright Memorial car show scheduled

September 25th, 2009    Author: Marsha Mundy    Filed Under: News

A car show being held to raise awareness of suicide prevention efforts has been scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 27. The Nicholas Colson-Wright Memorial Car Show, sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, is set to begin at 11 a.m. at Bethel’s Burke Park.

“We are holding this car show not only to remember Nicholas, but to bring awareness of mental illness and suicide,” said Elizabeth Shofstall, mother of Colson-Wright.

Nicholas Colson-Wright, a college student, was a victim of suicide in May 2008. He was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder at age 10 and his mother says the family could have used more information about the disease to be better informed about what to expect.

"Bi-polar is a brain disorder, it's like diabetes. It has to be treated and those who have it need to take medication," said Shofstall. "If Nick were still alive I know he would want to be involved in reaching others with the hope. He liked to help other people with their problems and often neglected to take care of himself."

Statistics show that suicide is the third leading cause of death in students aged 15 - 24 and an estimated 1,100 students commit suicide each year. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to funding research, helping with suicide prevention, and providing educational programs and conferences and support networks for survivors of suicide loss, for mental health professionals, physicians and the public.

Shofstall turned to the AFSP for help in dealing with her loss. She wants other families to know that there is help available to them.

"Together, our support for AFSP will reduce suffering and the loss of life from suicide as well as end the broad stigma that surrounds mental illness and suicide," said Shofstall. "With more than 32,000 lives lost each year in the U.S. and over one million worldwide, the importance of AFSP's mission has never been greater, nor our work more urgent."

Registration for the car show is scheduled to begin 11 a.m. For more information about the car show, contact Shofstall at (513) 252-1561 or visit www.afsp.org/carshow. Proceeds will benefit AFSP.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is working to educate the public about the likely causes of suicide, its warning signs, trends in suicide rates, recent treatment advances and other ways that suicide can be prevented.

College campuses locally are forming Active Minds chapters in an effort to promote awareness, provide education and dialogue and bring about some open discussion about mental illness. Active Minds is a national organization, founded by Alison Malmon.

Malmon's brother committed suicide while he was attending college. In an effort to educate college students about mental illness, Malmon started the Active Minds organization.

According to area mental health experts, stress levels are high for college age students often leading to mental health issues. The Mercy Hospital Clermont Department of Behavioral Medicine admitted more than 1,700 students in 2008 for help with mental health issues.

The partnership for Mental Health Inc., is planning a Celebration of Hope and Heroes on Monday, Oct. 5, at Receptions Conference Center at Eastgate.

Malmon is the scheduled keynote speaker for the event which will honor those who serve as an inspiration for recovery and those who have made meaningful contributions toward improving mental health. For more information about the event, contact Ann Hoffman-Ruffner at (513) 732-8558.
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