Heart of Benevolence held the first annual GLOW Up: Suicide Awareness Event & 5K on January 19, 2019 to remember those lost to suicide, bring resources to those battling suicidal feelings, and raise funds for Camden Behavioral Wellness and Coastal Counseling Center. The event featured a discussion panel, keynote speaker, Zumba warmup by Fiesta Fitness, Live DJ, wall of life, mental health resources, vendors and an abundance of community support.

The discussion panel made up of State Representative and Executive Director of Camden Family Connections, Steven Sainz; the President of Camden Behavioral Wellness and owner of Family Matters, Molly McCue, LPC; and Adolescent Counselor at Saint Simons by the Sea, Tiffany Lemery. The panel was moderated by Lena Brathwaite Bell M.Ed, CCHt of the Camden County Suicide Prevention Coalition. The panel answered pre-selected questions of “How do you know when someone might be suicidal,” and “who is at a greater risk for suicide,” amongst others. The panel was very informative and gave great insight to not only the many students in the audience but parents and patrons as well. Steven Sainz spoke to the fact that in 2018 Camden County had 14 suicides, in 2017 there were 12 suicides in Camden county, and in 2016 there was only 1 suicide that occurred. This data provided by the Camden County Coroner sheds light on the extreme increase our county is seeing with suicides. Mr. Sainz also advised that according to the Georgia Student Health Survey in 2018, 409 Middle and High School students have self reported contemplating suicide in 2018, of those students 145 stated that they had attempted suicide. Mr. Sainz also gave light to the fact that Camden and Brantley counties have recently been awarded funding to begin February to provide a comprehensive needs assessment, and Sources of Strength in the high school, provide a Gatekeeper training, which is training for individuals who are not certified mental health professionals to obtain first aid training on how to deal with suicide from everyday life. Two of those trainings are Signs of Suicide (SOS) and Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR). We look forward to those resources coming soon.
Ms. Dottie Bailey, spoke on self care, bullying and how she deals with her own mental illness. Ms. Bailey also spoke about the CIT Mental Health Alert wristbands, which she was inspired to create after meeting many law enforcement officers in Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) classes who requested some way to identify individuals with a mental illness. Ms. Bailey continues her advocacy for mental health education as a volunteer with NAMI, spreading the word about an issue that can be detrimental to children and adults. To learn more about Mental Health Wristbands, please visit www.mentalhealthalertwristbands.com
There was also a 5K which raised almost $1500 in funds for local mental health organizations, Camden Behavioral Wellness and Coastal Counseling Center. The funds were also used to purchase 100 Mental Health Alert wristbands to be used by the Camden County Suicide Prevention Coalition to be provided to those in need of the wristbands. There were almost 200 runners and hundreds of spectators at the the event from not only Camden County, but from towns as far as Orange Park, FL and Ludowici, GA. Prior to the run, runners and spectators were able to participate in a Zumba warmup by Fiesta Fitness. The runners lit up the streets of downtown Saint Marys, lead by Camden County Sheriffs. Heart of Benevolence looks forward to making this an annual event, which will bring awareness of the suicide issues to citizens in the community and resources to those who need them most. More pictures can be viewed at HeartofB.org.

GLOW Up 2019 Sponsors


GLOW Up 2019 Sponsors


GLOW Up 2019 Sponsors