Suicide prevention event slated for tonight in Olathe

Families touched by teenage suicides have organized a suicide prevention seminar for 7 p.m. tonight in Olathe.

The event, which is open to the public, was organized in response to the deaths of two Olathe Northwest High School students who committed suicide three days apart in November.

“My daughter was friends with both girls through soccer, and following the tragic events, many of us came together to develop a seminar in the hopes that no family/community ever suffers this type of loss again,” Christine Hamele wrote in a press release announcing the seminar.

The Tom Karlin Foundation will lead the event at Heartland Community Church, 12175 S. Strang Line Road. Though registration is not required, organizers ask people to sign up on Facebook here.

The event is designed for teens, parents, educators, social workers and spiritual leaders to help fight teen depression and understand the warning signs, according to an announcement on the foundation’s website.

The seminar announcement includes this statement from Joe Karlin, co-founder of the Tom Karlin Foundation:

“The recent teen suicides in our community have left a significant impact on all of us. No one knows the loss of a loved one to teen suicide better than our family, as we lost our 16 year-old son, Tom, on November 5, 2011 to suicide. Our family developed this foundation in Tom’s memory, as we were compelled to raise awareness of teen depression and suicide, and help others prevent teen suicide. While we still mourn the loss of Tom, we are inspired to help others and make an impact in our community.”

The Star