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Kensington-Orion bring hands together for suicide prevention night



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October 02, 2013 - A local prayer group from Kensington Church-Orion has tapped into churches around southeast Michigan top help reduce suicides.

The small, 12-person group that began praying about the suicide rate in Lake Orion and Oakland County at large inspired 46 churches to commit one time a week to do the same thing.

On October 10 Kensington Church is hosting a guest speaker, Jeff Edwards from the Brighton-area, to speak on suicide prevention: to go over the signs, causes and myths—or lack thereof—of depression and suicide.

After months of prayers, the Kensington prayer group organized the program in hopes that the youth leaders in the area will strongly encourage their youth groups and parents to also attend and recognize the signs.

"I think everybody in the area is aware, Lake Orion has literally one of the highest rates of suicide," Char Follis said, member of the Kensington-Orion prayer group.

She also said how effortless it was to inspire the other churches to commit.

"It's just amazing of the people that said, 'yes, absolutely we would,' she said. "At one point we were praying a whole hour about it, and now we feel a little relief that other people are joining."

Churches from Pontiac, Lake Orion, Rochester, Auburn Hills and Clarkston have committed, and set aside a period of time every week garnering positive energy to help prevent further suicides.

Edwards has the same goal and has launched a preventative campaign speaking at schools and to other groups. Both he and his wife have joined the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's metro Detroit/Ann Arbor Chapter.

As chairman of the chapter, and school educator for more than 12 years, Edwards will be speaking to all who attend the October 10 event at Kensington Church, 4640 S. Lapeer Road, at 7 p.m.

Edwards speaks to seventh grade and above, and has spoken at Brighton schools, Howell schools, and Livingston county schools.

Teachers and counselors are encouraged to come and invite anyone interested, with the request that groups larger than five contact Follis at (248) 693-1948, or cafollis@att.net.

"We call it a community coming together for a common cause," she said. "It's a good thing if it saves one life," she said.

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