Safe Spaces to host local barbecue

Safe Spaces, a non-profit organization recently created by members of the Fulton community, is holding its first solo event on Thursday, April 18. The barbecue will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, 719 Court Street, and is free charge for the public.

Safe Spaces is a group dedicated to saving teen lives that would otherwise be lost to suicide by promoting awareness, prevention, and coping skills through education.

“For this event, our goal is just to let the community know we’re out here, and that people can come see us and find out what we’re about,” said Sherry Abbott, president of the Safe Spaces board. “We also want them to know that we’re not just a good-intentions group. We’re all (the board) in the process of being trained, and we also have licensed counselors available.”

During the barbecue, the organization will be showing a short film, “Not My Kid: What Every Parent Should Know,” which was created by the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, and educates parents as to the factors that can put a teen at risk for suicide.

“We all think ‘My kid wouldn’t do that’ or ‘We don’t have those problems,’” said Abbott. “But it’s not young or old, or black or white, or the prom king and queen or anyone else — it’s all of us in this together.”

Safe Spaces will also be conducting a 50-50 drawing, and any other donations will be welcome. These donations will go towards the purchase of “Lifelines,” a curriculum that teaches awareness and intervention for suicide, as well as a cell phone line. This line will be open to texts 24 hours a day, and Abbott hopes it will encourage more outreach to teens.

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