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American Legion Provides Suicide Awareness to Students at Williston Basin School District #7 

Williston, N.D., (EDiTED October 7, 2022) –  20 young people die by suicide every day in the United States.  This is according to the National Institute on Mental Health’s most current data from 2018.  That means that approximately 7,600 young people under the age of 25 die by suicide in the U.S. alone.  Seeing these alarming statistics prompted Commander Dan Brown with the American Legion Department of North Dakota to help bring awareness to our youth and community.

My Ascension” is a Documentary Film intended to help spread hope and fight suicide.  The film focuses on 16-year old varsity cheerleader, Emma Benoit, who was left paralyzed after a suicide attempt.  Emma’s experience propelled her on a mission to use her painful experience to help others find hope, and shine more light on the fact that 20 young people die every day by suicide in the United States.  My Ascension is a feature length documentary that chronicles Emma’s inspiring journey and quest to walk again, as she works to bring Hope Squad, a school-based suicide prevention program, to Louisiana.  The film also highlights the stories of two remarkable young people who tragically did not survive their attempts, and we learn first-hand from their families, friends, and school officials and suicide prevention experts about the devastating effects of suicide and what can be done to prevent it.

The film will be shown to students in grades 7-12 in October.  If any parent wishes to opt-out of their student watching the film, they will need to complete an opt-out form and return it to their school.   Missouri Ridge School will show the film on October 10th, ASB Innovation Academy on October 11th, Williston High School October 10-13th, and Williston Middle School on October 18th.  Agnes Theaters will also be providing free showings of the film for the community October 24-29.  “Suicide affects all of those around us, and it is important for us to bring awareness not only to our students, but to our community on such a devastating, preventable issue,” said Dr. Richard Faidley, superintendent.  He continued, “I want to personally thank Mr. Brown and the American Legion for working to bring this film to our community.”

For more information about “My Ascension”, please visit or