Suicide: The Silent Epidemic. What Do We Know? What Can We Do?

Ask the Experts by Gail and John Urso

Q: Why should I see the documentary film "Death is NOT the Answer" that will be shown at the War Memorial on Wednesday, September 27th?

A: Over 43,000 people will die by suicide in the United States in 2017. That is one person every thirteen minutes. Many of us have been touched by suicide either through the death of a loved one, a friend, or a colleague. They say that every death by suicide touches over 100 people. It's in the best interest of the community at-large to be informed.

When our son Kevin took his own life at the age of 41, we were shocked and devastated. We never imagined that this could have happened to our son. In dealing with our grief, we learned as much as we could about suicide. We were amazed to learn how common it is. We were also surprised that so many agencies exist to fight what is a "suicide epidemic."

There have been excellent books written for loss survivors of suicide and there are people devoting their lives to suicide prevention. Why didn't we know any of this? Why didn't we know the signs that someone might be suicidal? Because we didn't know any of these things, we figured that other people didn't know either.

It became our mission, therefore, to let people know what we didn't know. To accomplish this goal we founded Kevin's Song, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission it is to generate public awareness about the causes of suicide, its prevalence in our society and possible preventive measures. We fulfill this goal through conferences, workshops, and through the film "Death is NOT the Answer" which Kevin's Song inspired and executive produced with award-winning filmmaker Keith Famie. The documentary unearths the roots of depression and explores the reasons for suicidal tendencies though personal stories, as well as through scientific reasoning.

Following the documentary film there will be a panel discussion with an opportunity for the audience to ask questions of the panelists: Gigi Colombini, LMSW, Rabbi Daniel Syme, Amelia Lehto, Coordinator of the Common Ground Crisis Center and Gail Urso, Loss Survivor.

Gail and John Urso are the co-founders of Kevin's Song and are members of The Family Center's Association of Professionals.

Kevin's Song is presenting its second annual conference "The Silent Epidemic: A Conference on Suicide", November 9-11, 2017 at the Inn at St. John's in Plymouth, MI. Please visit for more information and to register for the conference.

Save the Date

Suicide: The Silent Epidemic. What Do We Know? What Can We Do?

Presented by The Family Center, Kevin's Song, Grosse Pointe News and The War Memorial

September 27, 6:30pm, Grosse Pointe War Memorial (32 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Farms) FREE.

Register early - online at or call 313.447.1374.

Enriching Our Community Through Stronger Families
The Family Center serves as the community's hub for information, resources and referral for both families and professionals. The Family Center is a non-profit organization founded with a mission to serve our community through programs and resources vital to today's families.

All gifts are tax-deductible.
To volunteer or contribute, visit the 'Get Involved' page, call 313-447-1374.
Email: or write to: The Family Center
32 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.