Particle pg 1 6-15-17

Clockwise from top left: Psych Asylum. Samantha Cudworth of Putnam. The Wall of Angels. Julia O'Neill-Correira of Woodstock painting and Gracelyn Rennick. 
PUTNAM — Hundreds of local residents and families came out to Main Street June 10 for the 11th Annual Particle Accelerator: A Day of Music and Hope, an annual benefit concert that raises awareness for suicide and depression and funds for United Services. More than $8,000 was raised.
Funds raised go toward local community behavioral health support, as well as Mental Health First Aid trainings, a public education initiative that helps the public identify people in the midst of a mental health crisis more readily and get them the resources and professional help they need before they harm themselves or others.
The second event goal is to provide information and support for depression and suicide prevention, while promoting music and civic engagement as a healthy alternative to drug and alcohol abuse among young adults.
Since 2007, the Particle Accelerator concerts have raised more than $50,000 for local mental health services.
The free, all-day music festival featured 15 bands playing music of all genres and for all ages. The concert began at noon and continued until 9 p.m. This was the first year the event has been held on Main Street.
Putnam resident and concert organizer Eric Gould said the venue change did not deter the audience, as crowds of people filled the street throughout the day.
“Just looking out into that crowd and seeing so many smiling face, so many people putting their problems and worries on hold if only for a little while just to enjoy themselves and really soak in the sun rays and listen to the awesome music,” Gould said. “It’s enough good vibes to last us until next year!”
The festival started in 2007 by family and friends of Putnam resident Jack Young Jr., who died by suicide on his 27th birthday that year.
The annual benefit concert has two main goals, organizers said. The first is to raise funds and awareness to support United Services, Inc., one of Connecticut’s most comprehensive private, non-profit behavioral health centers, providing mental and behavioral health education, prevention, treatment and social services to the children, adults and families of northeastern Connecticut since 1964.
“Particle Accelerator continues to be an important outlet for our community to talk about suicide and depression and celebrate recovery and hope,” said United Services President/CEO Diane L. Manning. “We are grateful for the work organizers do throughout the year, to the sponsors and businesses that support the event and the people that come out to enjoy the day each year.”
Performers Saturday included: Kala Farnham, Adam Trudel, Llama Tsunami, The Papa Joe Show, Jason Bleau, Shane Hall, Sidestep Complex, Charlie Farren, Fleet and more.
In addition to the music, the event also featured information on local resources from United Services, Putnam PRIDE (Partnership to Reduce the Influence of Drugs for Everyone), the Norwich Vet Center, and the Windham County chapter for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Representatives from the Open Arms LGBT Support Group as well as and Preventing Teen Tragedy also provided information and resources at the event.
Putnam’s Artique studio painted four murals live during the concert, which were auctioned to support the event. 
Particle Accelerator’s Wall of Angels, a moving tribute to friends and family members lost the suicide, honored 253 people this year with photos on the wall and the lighting of luminaria at dusk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death for Americans in 2014, with 42,773 suicides reported. (For comparison, in 2014 approximately 40,000 Americans lost their lives to Breast Cancer.)
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