The Wellmont Theater, has partnered with the Mental Health Association (MHA) of Essex and Morris Inc., to recognize September as “National Suicide Prevention Month.” The theater is set to work with the organization throughout September to make suicide prevention resources and donation opportunities available to audience members. These will be both online and in the Wellmont Theater lobby.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, claiming the lives of more than 40,000 people annually. This partnership aims to save lives by shedding light on numerous areas of mental health, including the importance of removing the stigma associated with emotional and mental disorders.
The theater, which can house 2,500 people, will reach a vast audience in September as it hosts 12 shows. The Wellmont Theater will match a portion of the proceeds to the MHA and will provide an opportunity for audience members to make $1 individual contributions when they purchase tickets through Ticketmaster. Free materials will be handed out in the lobby at every show from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) and the MHA. This includes a suicide resource calendar, toolkit for high schools and prevention and assessment wallet cards.
The Wellmont’s General Manager, Anthony J. Morrison, noted that the venue has lost a few past performers to suicide in recent years. “Our theater’s demographics can skew somewhat younger at times, and that can be a challenging age to seek help for mental health purposes. We’re letting the public know that there are resources available,” he said.
For anyone currently struggling with the issue of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at 1-800-273-8255.