YORKTOWN, N.Y. – The Yorktown community will once again come together to become first responders to support teens and families in crisis who are dealing with abuse, depression and violence.
The Alliance for Safe Kids will host the third annual Save A Life forum from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center. The program was formed in response to more than 25 deaths in Yorktown and Cortlandt Manor attributed to drugs and alcohol abuse, depression, bullying and violence, according to a statement from the organization. Previous programs have helped hundreds of teens and their parents speak about various forms of abuse and how to deal with such problems as suicidal thoughts and depression.
“This originally came right on the heels of what seemed to be an acceleration of tragedies a few years back surrounding young adults around our community,” said Lisa Tomeny, executive director at the Alliance for Safe Kids. “The idea is to have a forum to give people in our community some basic skills to be the first responders and recognize the signs of suicidal thoughts or depression or abuse and have some knowledge of what to do.”
This year’s program includes speakers Michael Nerney and Javier Sanchez. Nerney is a consultant in Substance Abuse Prevention and Education with more than 33 years of experience in the field. Sanchez, who is from Youth to Youth International, has been an advocate for youth and has been encouraging teens to realize that once they catch a vision and a sense of purpose for their life, there are no limits to their potential, according to the statement.
“We’re really fortunate to have both of them as speakers,” Tomeny said. “We want to recruit as many people in this community to get informed because that’s really the only way to start helping and turn the tide. Hopefully this will lead us closer to the day when we no longer have tragedies like this.”