Dallas native – and San Francisco 49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas – will head up a special breakfast discussion on mental health and teens designed to help fathers and male caretakers of teens and young adults speak candidly about their journey.
Thomas will speak at the March 3 Dad2Dad Breakfast Speaker Series presented by the Grant Halliburton Foundation. The talk, organizers said, is geared especially for fathers or male caretakers who are on the journey with a teen or young adult with a mental health condition.
“The Dallas native will talk openly about his sister Ella’s death by suicide and his mission to fight this national mental health crisis,” the foundation said.
“We have to reach people at a young age and bring awareness to depression and anxiety and take away the stigma,” Thomas said in a recent ESPN essay. “The worst thing we can do is to ignore the warning signs or encourage kids to bottle things up and not cry or talk about what’s bothering them.”
The foundation created the series to candidly discuss the issue since one in five young people suffers from a diagnosable mental illness, organizers said, adding that about half of all mental illnesses begin by age 14, but it is 10 years on average before people seek help. A teen is lost to suicide at a rate of one per day in Texas, and two per week in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“And the most shocking statistic of all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in eight Texas high school students reported having attempted suicide during the past 12 months,” organizers said. “That is twice the national average.”
The breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. March 3, at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas. To get more information, and to RSVP, click here. The foundation stressed that this event is for dads and male caretakers, and is not appropriate for children or teens.
Grant Halliburton Foundation offers these two free community tools to help North Texans find mental health and addiction information and resources:
- HereForTexas.com is a website with a searchable database of North Texas providers, designed to help people make informed decisions about mental health care.
- The Here For Texas Mental Health Navigation Line is a helpline offering people personal assistance with finding providers and resources that match their needs. Help is just a free phone call away at 972-525-8181.