On November 13, 2010, 14-year-old Daron Richardson died by suicide. From this tragedy came a movement to transform youth mental health. Spearheaded by Daron’s parents Luke and Stephanie Richardson, who decided to transform their very private pain into a public call-to-action, a decision was made to support young people who suffer in silence from the pain and stigma of mental illness. Supported by the energy and efforts of dozens of Daron’s close friends and classmates, a grassroots movement was formed with the mission of creating awareness, inspiring conversations, and transforming youth mental health.
Do It for Daron (DIFD) encourages young people to talk openly about mental illness and to ask for help when needed. DIFD provides young people, their parents, teachers, coaches and other adult role models with the resources, outlets and, most importantly, courage to overcome the shame and fear of discussing mental illness. The purple DIFD heart, a creation inspired by Daron’s favorite color, has become the youth-driven symbol of this movement. It is a visual reminder that only love and awareness, not hiding in the shadows, can combat youth mental illness.
For three years in a row, the Binghamton Senators have designated a home game in February as a DIFD Power to the Purple game to raise awareness of youth mental health. The Arena has overflowed with fans dressed in purple showing their support of youth mental health. Game jerseys have been raffled and auctioned to spread awareness and raise funds.
All donations raised locally will be used by the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier to promote the work of DIFD in our community and to offer scholarships for area sports coaches to become certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid. Click Here to host an event!
More information about D.I.F.D. can be found here: www.difd.com
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