WHEN: OCTOBER 30, 2021
WHERE: HERITAGE ISLES GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB
SHOTGUN START: 1:00pm
Mental illnesses occur at similar rates around the world, in every culture and in all socio economic groups. 1 in 5 young people suffer from a mental illness. Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24, and the FOURTH leading cause of death for ages 15-64. More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza and lung disease COMBINED. These numbers are staggering. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on June 11, 2021 that during 2020, the proportion of mental health related emergency department visits increased 31% among adolescents aged 12-17 years compared with 2019. In June 2020, 25% of surveyed adults aged 18-24 years reported experiencing suicidal ideation related to the pandemic.
Hailey’s Voice of Hope’s beginning was unintended, but the foundation was started following the loss of our only daughter, Hailey Acierno, on March 28, 2017, at 17-years old, due to mental illness/suicide. Part of the mission of Hailey’s Voice of Hope is to develop educational programs that raise awareness and acceptance of mental illness, and to break the stigma of mental health issues as portrayed in the movies and on TV and as highlighted in the news to promote fear for increased ratings.
Since that time, our foundation has hosted three golf tournaments, dinners and silent auctions. We continue to be humbled by the support of so many friends and strangers for a foundation that is still in infancy. Hailey’s Voice of Hope’s Fourth Annual Golf Tournament, Dinner and Silent Auction is being held on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at Heritage Isles Golf and Country Club. For sponsorship and attendance information, please see the below tabs.
Part of our mission is to support organizations that raise awareness of mental illness and prevent suicide, so every year our foundation makes substantial donations to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), and the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
More importantly, another goal is to develop educational programs that raise awareness and acceptance of mental illness. In 2019, we partnered with the Hillsborough County School Board and the Jordan Binion Project to bring a one-week mental health education class to all Hillsborough County high school students. Hillsborough County Public Schools is the eighth largest district in the nation. This class will help students identify signs of mental illness and help them identify available resources. For more information about the curriculum, please visit www.teenmentalhealth.org.
While we are unable to share any major accomplishments made by our foundation this year, we are hopeful our supporters understand that COVID was a major obstacle. We are in the process of scheduling a meeting with the appropriate school board members and administrators to determine where our foundation’s funds can best assist the schools in light of the huge budget cuts made to mental health services. We have not abandoned our desire to sponsor an educational/training program for Hillsborough County School Resource Officers to better prepare them to respond to Baker Act situations. Hillsborough County leads the State of Florida in Baker Acts, and there is concern that there are instances where a Baker Act is not necessarily warranted or in the best interests of the child.
Hailey’s Voice of Hope is operated solely by volunteers, and our expenses are nominal. Right now, our only expenses include website fees, and normal governmental fees to fully comply with local, state and federal laws for a 501(c)(3) foundation. With virtually no expenses, all donations are used to support Hailey’s Voice of Hope’s mission.
Chances are that you know someone who has been affected by mental illness and/or suicide. Consider your donation a powerful tribute to them.
Thank you in advance for your support and consideration.
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