Poker tournament to raise money for suicide awareness — (MLive)

SSRI Ed note: Man takes antidepressants, fells suicidal, goes to hospital, is not admitted, kills himself. Family raises funds for group that promotes misinformation.

Original article no longer available


Thursday, October 05, 2006

By Stephanie Esters, 388-8554

NOTE:  The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and their Out of the Darkness Walk is a pharma-sponsored group that provide misleading information about suicide, and ignore the significant contribution of psychoactive medication.  – Ed

A Kalamazoo couple touched by suicide are planning a poker tournament Saturday to raise money for the “Out of the Darkness Overnight” suicide-awareness walk in New York City in June.

Hank and Sarah Avink are hosting the poker tournament at the Masonic Lodge, 4371 W. U Ave., in Schoolcraft. Registration starts at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, with play starting at 5:30 p.m. The entry fee is $50.

This is the Avinks’ second tournament. The couple raised $1,000 from the first poker tournament, in March, for the “Out of the Darkness Overnight” suicide-awareness walk in San Francisco in June, Sarah Avink said.

Hank Avink said his wife has helped him “see it as a disease.”

“My wife’s father committed suicide when she was 6, so it’s obviously close to our heart. And I actually grew up in the funeral home, seeing a lot of it myself,” Hank Avink said. “Almost everyone we know has been affected by it, but nobody talks about it.”

He said he’s also learned about warning signs; his wife’s father, for instance, who was on antidepressants, tried to check himself into a Hastings-area hospital the day he killed himself, but Hank said he was not admitted.

For information about the poker tournament, call 217-3016.

For information about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s “Out of the Darkness Overnight” walk, visit or