DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — You may notice new murals going up around the City of Dayton over the next few months, all with a similar theme. The Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board is wrapping up its first mural in a series to bring awareness to suicide prevention.
A group of volunteers with ADAMHS are taking what used to be an eyesore when driving down North Main Street in Dayton and turning it into a sign of hope, brush stroke by brush stroke.
“I wanted something inspiring, something for people to maybe start their day or at least come on forward, hence the sunrise component,” said James Kavanaugh, owner of the building at the corner of North Main Street and Fairview Avenue in Dayton.
The mural is part of a project by the Montgomery County ADAMHS Board — with a mission to paint a message of suicide prevention all throughout the city.
“We know that putting these kind of positive messages out here, if somebody’s having a bad day, maybe contemplating, you know, not being here tomorrow, that this can definitely turn things around for them and give them some hope,” said Brittini Long, ADAMHS Senior Program Coordinator.
Last year, 16 people under the age of 24 died by suicide in Montgomery County.
This mural is one of the tools ADAMHS is using to connect people both young and old to resources.
“There will be a permanent sign that is affixed here with a QR code so they can access crisis services immediately,” said Long.
The volunteers out here working on this mural aren’t artists, but people who want to leave their mark on the community.
“I can step back and see the full picture and know that my little spot made a difference,” said Emily Mongelli, a mural volunteer and MCESC Prevention Specialist.
And just like a single brush stroke contributes to a mural, every act of kindness can help someone who is struggling.
“Just saying hi to somebody on the street or recognizing that somebody might be struggling and you reach out to them makes a big difference,” said Mongelli.
ADAMHS has three more murals planned for the spring.