About Our Speakers

Jude Platzer — Director — Josh Platzer Society

As a ‘survivor’ of her son’s untimely death, Jude Platzer tells the story of losing her beloved teenage son, Josh, his battle with depression and his subsequent suicide.

She recounts the life changing effects that suicide brings not only to immediate family members but to all relationships in the surrounding community.

Since his death, 8 years ago, she has made it her lifework to educate others on prevention and awareness of suicide with a particular focus on youth.

By openly speaking about her experience she helps to break down century’s old stigma and taboos about suicide thus bringing hope and healing to others who are living with depression as well as to those who have been bereaved by suicide.

The presentation features a docudrama interspersed with professional insights, through which families can learn to recognize the warning signs of a crisis, signs that may signal that someone is contemplating taking their life.

Her heart rending presentation is full of useful information and resources giving hope to those families living with suicidal loved ones and knowledge as to how to get professional help.

Jude has presented in many high schools and colleges in the Lower Mainland area and the Society has distributed 10,000 orange bracelets sporting a resource web site for youth and help line phone numbers.

Jude is the director and founder of The Josh Platzer Society, a non- profit organization whose mission is to educate British Columbia youth and those around them about prevention and awareness of suicide.

She has been nominated for the Canadian Medical Association Award for Excellence in Health Promotion, the United Way W.J Van Dusen Community Service Award and is the recipient of a BC Community Achievement Award (2008).

She lives in Vancouver with her husband and 20 year old daughter.

Corrine Thompson is a mother of 4 who lost her youngest child Rielly to suicide on July 17, 2007. He was 15 years old.
Living on Vancouver Island in the small, tight knit community of Shawnigan Lake, Rielly’s death shocked everyone who knew him and his family. Rielly did not appear to be suffering from depression and had a keen interest in his life, in his friends and in his family. Rielly loved to do the things teenage boys everywhere enjoy: lacrosse, wakeboarding, snowboarding and of course, video games.
Rielly’s friends described him as the one who would do the daring and crazy things. Rielly’s made things fun.
After Rielly’s death by suicide, his family found support in the people who had known Rielly so well during his short life. In fact, his family was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from neighbours, colleagues, friends, coaches and teachers.
Struggling to make sense of the terrible tragedy, as a part of her own healing process and wanting to help others, Corrine found the courage to speak at her son’s service. Soon after she began speaking at local high schools on suicide intervention and prevention, often accompanied by two of Rielly’s close friends. They were recieved with compassion and interest by students across Vancouver Island.
Corrine met Jude Platzer in June 2008 and they both quickly realized that they shared a common goal: To save lives by educating children and young adults on suicide awareness and prevention, while encouraging them to reach out for help.
Corrine is available to speak to middle and senior students in public and private schools on Vancouver Island. Please contact us for booking details.

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