MANKATO — A suicide prevention advocate will return to meet with Mankato students Wednesday and Thursday at East and West high schools.

Emma Benoit also will participate in a community event 6 p.m. Wednesday with a free screening of “My Ascension” and panel discussion at West High School. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Louisiana-based Benoit was already scheduled to return to Minnesota and present to East and West 9th- and 10th-graders on Wednesday and Thursday. These presentations are now expanding to include 9th- through 12th-graders.

Benoit will speak to students at East at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday. She will present at West at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday. Support and resources will be available.

Benoit, a 22-year-old from Louisiana, became dedicated to suicide prevention after surviving an attempt in 2017.

Mel and Todd Hoffner sponsored the community event. The Hoffner family also sponsored a similar event Sept. 17 when Benoit visited East High School. About 150 people attended.

“Our community has embraced Emma’s message on suicide prevention,” Greater Mankato Area United Way’s CEO Barb Kaus stated in a press release.

Kaus said following Benoit’s first visit, the calls from the community have been both immediate and urgent for additional opportunities to engage in discussions about suicide.

Benoit’s school presentations are sponsored by Consolidated Communications and Mankato Area Public Schools.

Benoit’s suicide attempt resulted in a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed “but helped her find faith and purpose, propelling her on a mission to use her painful experience and miraculous recovery to help others,” according to a news release.

For more information about the film, go to MyAscension.us.

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