KENNEWICK, wash – Several Tri-Cities organizations that help with bereavement care and support have received thousands of dollars in grants to help expand their services.
Donations came from RDO Equipment and the Offutt Family Foundation who said they “have recognized youth suicide as a serious community issue that requires creative and innovative attention,” a press release said.
Cork’s Place received $ 20,000 to “provide additional opportunities for grieving adolescents to share their grief in a safe and supportive environment.”
Brandy Hickey, director of Cork’s Place, said she felt like she was ‘on cloud nine’.
“I am always honored and grateful for our generous community. It never surprises me when people are so kind and open, but when you involve children in the prevention and understanding of youth mental health and the need for our services, it is even more inspiring for me to keep going, ”Hickey said.
Hickey said the donation will go “a long way” when it comes to helping grieving youth in the Tri-Cities.
“Right now we have a waiting list of over 50 children to join support groups,” Hickey said, adding that the money will also go towards a possible physical expansion of the Cork’s Place building.
the Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition received $ 10,000 “to purchase and prepare items for the Suicide Loss Survivor Care Kits.” There will be two types of kits – one for adults who have lost a child to suicide and one for youth who have lost siblings or friends to suicide, ”the statement said.
Kimberly Starr, a YSPC member and mother of a son who died by suicide, said upon hearing the news of the grant, she began to “cry for joy.”
“It just meant we were going to be able to make a difference for parents like us,” Starr said.
Starr lost his son, Tom, six years ago. When he died she said she knew she “wanted to make a difference”.
“In the months leading up to the day he died he was just so funny, intelligent and witty. a caring, service-oriented young man, ”said Starr. “We did not recognize the signs of his suicide and his ideation.”
Starr said the grant money was particularly important for postvention suicide awareness.
“We talk a lot about suicide prevention and the signs you might be looking for, but postvention is really important,” Starr said. “A risk factor for suicide is having lost someone to suicide, so when Tom died I experienced my own suicidal thoughts, which is not unusual, but if you don’t know , you might feel very lonely.
Starr said the organization’s goal is “to bring comfort and educate suicide survivors.”
The grant will also help train teachers and others in contact with young people, the statement said.
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