James Donaldson notes:
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Sadly, every 12 minutes, someone dies by suicide in the United States. One out of every four adults and one out of every five young people will experience a mental health issue. As common as these issues are, stigma and shame keep those who are struggling feeling isolated and hopeless.
The Not Alone Conference was born out of the desire to break down the stigma of mental health within our communities and especially our churches. On the heels of several suicides in the community- one being Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s, wife Bridgette- several community leaders, professionals and ministers felt called to do something tangible that could help break the silence and lift the veil of secrecy and shame around issues that are too often left in the shadows.
The silence that exists around these issues is not for a lack of caring, but simply because sometimes we just don’t know what to do. The Not Alone Conference aims to equip the church and community with tools and resources that will allow us to connect and empathize with those who are struggling and to offer hope to those who may feel alone in their pain.
The Not Alone conference will be happening simultaneously in Albertville and Huntsville on February 22nd and 23rd. Both will start at 7PM on Friday, and 8AM on Saturday. The conference in Albertville will take place at the Fine Arts Center. Huntsville’s conference will be at Willowbrook Baptist Church.
The conference will kick off Friday with music and speakers and will continue Saturday with speakers, music, and breakout sessions on important topics like addiction, abortion, suicide and trauma. Kay Warren of Saddleback Church; Jeremiah Johnston of Christian Thinkers Society, Attorney General Steve Marshall and Seacoast Church’s Chipp Judd will be speaking live at each location sharing personal stories and offering messages of hope. Each location will feature a special musical performance by Andrew Peterson as well as local artists.