Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First Do It For Daron Day - Mental Health & Suicide Prevention

On what would have been Daron’s 15th birthday, the family of Senators assistant coach Luke Richardson and the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health are working together. The first "Do It For Daron" day will raise funds for and awareness of youth mental health and suicide prevention programs. Daron took her own life in November, 2010.

You are encouraged to wear purple today, which was Daron's favourite colour.

To donate, please click here.

MPs from across all party lines will wear purple today in the House of Commons to take part in the "Do It for Daron - Purple Pledge Day."

"We lost a beautiful daughter and sister," said Luke Richardson, on behalf of his wife, Stephanie and 16-year-old daughter Morgan. "Daron was also a dear friend and teammate to many. She is sorely missed by all of us."

"At that very tragic time in November we made the decision to speak publically about suicide because we wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. We wanted to do what was best for Morgan, for the three of us to understand, to remember Daron and move forward." added Richardson.

"We are a close family. We spend a lot of time together. We talk about a lot of things; sex, drugs, alcohol, bullying and the internet. But there was one conversation we never had. Mental health. Suicide. We pray and hope that you have that conversation yourself, or with a friend or family member."

The Richardsons' openness and desire for everyone to "have that conversation" has prompted the Sens Foundation and Ottawa Senators to host an annual D.I.F.D. Youth Mental Health Awareness Night at Scotiabank Place. The first event will happen when the Senators play the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, February 26.

The event will highlight for fans the issues of youth mental illness and promote organizations and resources within the community that offer mental health support services to youth and their families. Fans will also be able to participate in fundraising activities.

The Richardson family announced a personal donation of $100,000 to match the generosity of what the community has contributed to the Daron Richardson Fund at the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. These funds will also be directed to the early identification and intervention program and study for youth at the Royal Ottawa.

A video tribute to Daron.

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