OKEMOS, Mich. — September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and to help raise awareness of the topic, Okemos and Holt high schools' volleyball teams are partnering together during their Tuesday night matches.
"Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength to address a difficult topic," the statement from the team reads. "The truth is, we can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health and suicide; just one conversation can change a life."
The statement says the Okemos High School program has been directly impacted by the death of a player's father who died by suicide in 2017 as well as the high school community losing several people to suicide as well.
"We as a volleyball program believe that it is time to step up and take action to share prevention information and to help our friends and family to have access to the resources they need to seek help," the team writes.
Okemos is partnering with the Holt High School volleyball program, the Mental Health Association in Michigan and Dr. Zach Goldstein, founder of Eli's Project, with a mission to spread awareness of the new 988 crisis hotline number.
Foundation members will be at the match, handing out business cards with the 988-crisis hotline information. They will also be accepting donations for the foundation through Venmo.
Matches begin at 5 p.m. with the junior varsity and freshman teams competing at Okemos High School. The varsity match will begin at 6:15 p.m.
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