Suicide prevention advocate Emma Benoit’s return trip to Mankato this week has been expanded to include an additional community event as well as the opportunity for more high-schoolers to hear her story.

 The community is invited to a free screening of Benoit’s documentary “My Ascension” and panel discussion at 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 28 at West High School. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Mel and Todd Hoffner family. Refreshments sponsored by Mayo Clinic Health System. Support by Mankato Area Public Schools. No registration required.

22-year-old Benoit participated in a similar community event at Mankato East on September 17, also sponsored by the Hoffner family. The event welcomed an estimated 150 community members, who viewed the film and participated in a Q&A with Benoit and others impacted by suicide.

“Our community has embraced Emma’s message on suicide prevention,” said Greater Mankato Area United Way CEO Barb Kaus. “We already had the goal to bring Emma’s story to more students and community members as we raise awareness and education on this topic. Following Emma’s first visit, the calls from the community have been both immediate and urgent for additional opportunities to engage, and we are grateful for Emma’s willingness to reach as many people as possible.”

Louisiana-based Benoit was already scheduled to return to Minnesota and present to East and West 9th– and 10th-graders on September 28 and 29. These presentations are now expanding to include 9th– through 12th-graders. Benoit will speak to students at East at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28. She will present at West at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday, September 29. Support and resources will be available. The school presentations are sponsored by Consolidated Communications and Mankato Area Public Schools.

Benoit became dedicated to suicide prevention after surviving a suicide attempt in 2017 as a high-schooler. Her attempt resulted in a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed but helped her find faith and purpose, propelling her on a mission to use her painful experience and miraculous recovery to help others. Visit MyAscension.us to learn more about the film.

The events are part of United Way’s mission to convene the community around important issues and improve lives in the region.

 

Crisis Support: If you or someone you know needs help, call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or text HOME to 741741 for the Crisis Text Line.