With suicide rates among young people continuing to rise across the country, The Loft Cinema is hosting a free resource fair, film screening and panel discussion Tuesday focusing on mental health and teen suicide. The event, presented by the University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and will feature a screening of the 2016 documentary film, “Not Alone.”

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 24 in Pima County, according to data from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner. In “Not Alone,” 18-year-old filmmaker Jaqueline Monetta gets her teen subjects to open up about their struggles with mental illness and suicide attempts, providing the audience an intimate look into the subjects’ beliefs about depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicide, getting help and treating mental illness, according to a news release.

Monetta was driven by a desire to understand why her best friend took her life at the age of 16. The teens in the film open up about the despair they felt and how talking about it saved their lives, assuring the audience that mental illnesses, like physical illnesses, can and should be treated, the release said.

After the film, Bonnie Kneller, a lead social worker at Tucson High, will lead a panel, which will feature Joronda Montaño, executive director of notMYkid; Rezwana Islam, a UA public health major and LGBTQ advocate; Ernestina Limon, a former Pima County health deptartment community mental health and addiction program coordinator; and Darin Knapp, a UA Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences assistant professor .

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Resource fair attendees will include:

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness-Southern Arizona
  • Help and Hope for YOUth
  • Hope for YOUth
  • notMYkid
  • UA Campus Health: Counseling and Psych Services
  • Text, Talk, Act
  • Palo Verde Behavioral Health
  • La Frontera
  • COPE Community Serivces
  • Epilogue Podcast Project

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191. Twitter: @caitlincschmidt