Hilary Blumberg, MD, John and Hope Furth Professor of Psychiatric Neuroscience and Professor of Psychiatry, and in the Child Study Center and of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, will participate in a panel discussion Sunday, April 11, 2021, related to the prevention of youth suicide.
The panel will follow the screening of the documentary “My Ascension,” a feature-length film that chronicles the experience of Emma Benoit, a then-16-year-old cheerleader who survived a suicide attempt in 2017 the summer before her senior year in high school. Her attempt resulted in a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed but also helped her find faith and purpose and put her on a mission to help prevent youth suicide.
The film also highlights the stories of two young people who did not survive their suicide attempts. Viewers will hear from their families, friends, school officials, and suicide prevention experts about the devastating effects of suicide and what can be done to prevent it.
The movie and panel discussion will be from 6:00 to 9:00 pm April 11. Registration is free.
The panel will be moderated by Gregg Dicharry, director of “My Ascension.” In addition to Blumberg it will feature Benoit; actress Jessica Hecht, Olympic gold medalist Samantha Livingstone, and Gillian Anderson, founder of My Friend Abby, the event’s host.
Anderson created My Friend Abby after the death of her 15-year-old daughter, Abby, by suicide. The non-profit organization’s mission is to “empower youth and young adults to actively create peer to peer connections through grants that improve mental and emotional health.”
Blumberg directs the Mood Disorders Research Program at Yale. The organization brings together a multi-disciplinary group of scientists to study the genetic, developmental, and environmental factors that cause mood disorders to develop new methods for early detection, more effective interventions, and prevention of the disorders and their associated high risk for suicide. This research includes the use of new state-of-the-art brain scanning methods. The program trains young scientists to be new leaders in the field.