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Burlington County hosting screenings about teen suicide and mental illness

The Liv Project will feature at three special events at the Pemberton Community Library, the Burlington County Library and RCBC

The Burlington County Commissioners and Burlington County Department of Human Services are bringing The Liv Project to Burlington County to help residents engage in frank and open discussions about teenage suicide and mental illness.

The nonprofit group will feature at three upcoming special events on Tuesday, June 20, at the Pemberton Community Library in Browns Mills, Wednesday, June 21, at the Burlington County Library in Westampton, and Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Rowan College at Burlington County in Mount Laurel.

All three events will begin at 6 p.m. with free screenings of My Sister Liv, a feature length documentary about sisters Tess and Olivia Kunik and the latter woman’s struggles with mental illness and suicidal thoughts. After the film, Tess and her mother, Honey Beuf will lead the audiences in “talk-back” sessions about mental illness, suicide and how Olivia’s death moved them to start The Liv Project.

In 2021, the commissioners approved a resolution designating all of Burlington County as stigma-free. As part of that resolution, the board pledged to combat misperceptions about mental health and substance use disorders to raise awareness about available treatment and support programs.

Many Burlington County municipal governments and school districts have passed similar resolutions of support for the County’s stigma-free initiative, including Bordentown City; Bordentown Township; Burlington City; Burlington Township; Chesterfield; Cinnaminson; Delran; Evesham; Florence; Lumberton; Moorestown; Mount Laurel; Palmyra; Pemberton Township; Shamong and Westampton.

State Sen. Troy Singleton encouraged parents, teens, teachers, youth leaders and other residents to attend one of the events.

“Adolescent depression and other mental illnesses impacting teens is a public health issue that requires open and honest discussion,” Singleton said. “I commend Burlington County for bringing The Liv Project here to engage our residents and help facilitate this important conversation.”

If your life or someone else’s life is in imminent danger, call 911.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and need immediate help, dial 988 or call the New Jersey Suicide Prevention Hopeline at 1 (855) 654-6735. Help is also available online at www.nj.hopelien.com or by texting njhopeline@ubhc.rutgers.edu.

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