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Do it For Daron Power To The Purple Day Addresses Suicide Prevention

By Faith Jessie.
New York State Senator Fred Akshar (R) proclaimed February 6th as "Do It For Daron Power To The Purple Day" in order to bring awareness to youth mental health.

Do it for Daron, is an organization started by B-Sens Coach Luke Richardson and his wife who lost their daughter Daron to suicide. The organization that encourages young people to talk openly about mental illness has sparked hundreds of conversations since it's inception 5 years ago.

'We believe that it is making a difference, it's trying to get rid of the shame and stigma around mental health..especially with our youth because they are so important and we have to make sure that they feel supported and that they are not alone," said Richardson.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second largest cause of death in ages 10-24. Four out of 5 teens that attempt suicide give clear warning signs. However, as seen in Daron's situation, this isn't always the case.

"We lost many people who might have externally given off these messages that life was perfect but that isn't always the case.. there is no exemption," said Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier Executive Director, Keith Leahey.
Richardson says that parents need to listen to their children and not judge them.

"if you notice something in body language and mannerism and even if you don't..as was the case with us..maybe just have the conversation and be really open and honest and just listen and don't be judgmental," said Richardson

Tomorrow night the ice will be filled with B-Sens players wearing a special jersey to honor Coach Richardson's daughter Daron who died at the young age of 14

"We lost Daron in November of 2010. Actually Monday was going to be her 20th birthday so its a tough week," said Richardson

Coach Richardson realized that he isn't the only parent who might be dealing with this.

"For people that have gone through it there is no getting around it.. you have to go right through it and there is other people out there that can help and support," said Richardson.

With Do it for Daron, that support has spread nationally and internationally. Richardson said that the loss of his daughter was hard, but he had to get up and make a difference.

"It's not fun but it's communities like this and events like this that make you want to get up and make a difference. Why not stand up and make a difference even if you're saving one life," said Richardson.

The B-Sens will host their Do it for Daron night at the area tomorrow. $2 from every ticket purchased will benefit the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier. Everyone is encouraged to wear purple, Daron's favorite color.