Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: A shout out to the Gig Harbor community, neighbors, and the Pierce County Council

Posted on February 1st, 2024 By: Thelma Brown

On behalf of the Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula Suicide Prevention Coalition, I would like to thank all those who supported our first annual fundraiser that was held on August 10th, 2023.  Our goal was to raise $2,500, but with the generous donations that we received, the amount came to over $8,000 and with that we give you a big shout out of gratitude and thanks.

To date, these funds have enabled us to train thirteen Gig Harbor High School students to be Youth Mental Health First Aiders.  These students will be our eyes and ears to detect students in need of support, which could make a big difference in the lives of those who are struggling with issues that may lead to depression.  The monies will also be used to train more students, including those at Henderson Bay High School and Peninsula High School.

Six of these students at Gig Harbor High are also learning Youth Facilitator skills through Photo Voice, a YMCA program.  Through this program, these students will become a valuable resource for students needing to talk to a peer and have someone listen without judging them.  This is an important step in a student’s journey of seeking professional assistance.

In addition, these donations enabled our coalition to purchase Mental Health Supplementary Educational Programs for Goodman Middle School and Henderson Bay High School.

Another goal this year is to implement a school club at the high schools called “Circle of Friends/Safe Talk.”  This club consist of those students who have gone through the training previously mentioned, those who wish to be trained, and students who need a safe space to talk and to feel accepted for who they are. This is a club that will make a difference in the lives of those students who are seeking help.

The GH/KP Suicide Prevention Coalition would also like to thank Robyn Denson and the entire Pierce County Council for their generous donation for 2024.  This will help us continue to lessen deaths by suicide. Thanks also goes to the band “Tupelo” featuring Erin Goodwill for donating the entertainment during our fundraiser.

We thank you all so much for supporting our coalition and what we are trying to achieve.

Thelma Brown, President

Judson Morris, Vice President

Myrna Veles, Treasurer

Becky Armbruster, Co-Secretary

Gina Cabiddu, Co-Secretary

Board Members: Bob Anderson, Kathy Weymiller, Laura Shultz, Anne Nesbit, Christine Lynch, Student Representatives

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