Nearly a year since her son committed suicide, Wantagh resident Susan Sassoon is organizing a program aimed at helping to avoid other families from enduring similar tragedies.
Sassoon is organizing a teen suicide prevention program that will be presented by the Ahava Machar Chapter of Hadassah at in Wantagh on Monday evening. Sassoon's 19-year old son Benjamin, who was a student at University of Maryland, last March when he jumped in front of an oncoming westbound train at the Bellmore Long Island Rail Road station.
Monday’s educational event is co-sponsored by the Temple B’nai Torah Hebrew school and youth group, and is intended for students from middle school through college and their parents. The program will be presented by Dale Camhi, Metro-NY Regional Director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and will feature age-specific DVDs. Topics covered will include teen suicide statistics, myths and facts, warning signs and risk factors, and how to talk to a friend in crisis.
According to the latest data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 36,035 suicide deaths were reported in the U.S. in 2008. These numbers place suicide again among the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S. for the first time since 1998. Nearly one million people make a suicide attempt every year.
Monday’s teen suicide prevention program at Temple B’nai Torah is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. The temple is located on 2900 Jerusalem Ave., Wantagh at the corner of Oakland Avenue next to the Bellmore border.
The Ahava Machar Chapter of Hadassah features a group of women from Wantagh, Bellmore and surrounding communities who are actively involved in fundraising, programming and membership-related activities for women, couples and families.