Teresa Ingles and other volunteers with a foundation named for her late son were in Sarnia’s Tecumseh Park Saturday, continuing the conversation about mental health and suicide prevention.
The Deker Bauer Foundation for Suicide Prevention, named for Ingles’ son who died last summer, hosted an inaugural skateboard competition in the city park where representatives of local agencies had been invited to talk about their services, as part of the day of food, music and fun.
Bauer was a skateboarder who had raised the idea of organizing a competition in Sarnia before he died last August.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Ingles said before the start of Saturday’s event, held on what would have been her son’s 18th birthday.
“We’re all set up and ready to go.”
Competitors on skateboard, scooters and bikes were warming up, a food booth was in place, along with a stage for live entertainment planned for the day and evening.
“We’re going to have some great music today, right up to 10 p.m.,” Ingles said.
Along with raising money for the foundation and its goal of establishing a drop-in centre for adults and young people, the day was aimed at raising awareness of suicide prevention, and mental health services, among young people at the event, according to Ingles.
“Letting them know where they can go if they need to talk,” Ingles said. “And, just to talk and not keep it to themselves.”
Along its efforts to open a drop-in centre, the foundation works to increase awareness about mental health issues and suicide prevention in the community.
In particular, young people need to know where they can go for help, Ingles said.
“That’s our goal with opening up our 24-hour, seven-day-a-week drop in centre, so they can come in at any time, day or night.”
The competition is the foundation’s second public event this year. The first was an art battle in March during First Friday, downtown, where seven artists had two hours to create a piece. An art auction was also part of that earlier fund-raising event.
“It went over really well,” Ingles said.