By Scott J. Brook, MBA, J.D.
While I am your Mayor, I’m writing this in my capacity as a Father, Mentor, Friend, and Community Leader. You will see several invitations here for you to be involved. You will learn about me and a few ways for you to become involved in our community.
Did you know that the second leading cause of death for those aged between 10 and 34 is suicide? Do you know someone with depression or anxiety? Have you experienced it? Do you know someone silent about their emotional struggles? I am working with over 100 people to eliminate the stigma often associated with the need for mental help. We are forming the Mental Wellness Networking Alliance and educating others about resources, signs of depression and what we, as individuals, can do to help one another.
Tragically, my Mom died by suicide when I was 23. I was devastated and numb. I had no idea she was depressed. Thankfully, years later, after therapy, good friends, education, much help from God and fulfilling my purpose, I’ve been able to focus on my Mom’s life as opposed to her death.
After we lost two teenagers to suicide this past March I could no longer fail to be an active part of solutions so that we do not lose another life to suicide in our community. I have gathered mental health professionals, teachers, student leaders, community leaders and many other stakeholders to join me in our mission to eliminate the stigma and prevent suicide. We are connecting dots, people, organizations and, most importantly, having conversations!
You and we are not alone. Suicide affects minorities, veterans, children, senior citizens and I believe, all of us. What can you do to make an impact? Join our alliance and attend a meeting. In November, we will meet on Tuesday, November 19 at 5:30 at Keller Williams in Coral Springs. Thank you Scott Bagoon for making that happen. Let’s work on a campaign to eliminate the stigma and share resources like 2-1-1 and the Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention.
More than that, let’s come together and unite for our children, our community and each other to lift one another without negative judgment that has become too costly. To learn more about the Mental Wellness Networking Alliance, please email me at [email protected]. Or call me at 954-494-9872.
My last invitation is to join me and many others on Veteran’s Day, 11/11. In the morning there is a ceremony at 10 at Veterans Park. In the evening (at 6 pm) the Students United Network have partnered with Paragon Theaters to honor our local veterans and raise money for two local organizations – The Veterans Coalition of Coral Springs and Mission Zero (dedicated to support Veterans with mental health struggles).
I love our community and I have no doubt that we can reach great heights and eliminate the stigma through a concerted effort.