MUNCIE, Ind. — When he’s not fighting crime in Gotham or fighting demons on Apokolips, Batman is helping children fight demons in their heads. From October 18-23, that’s exactly what he plans to do in Muncie.
Batman (John Buckland, founder of Heroes 4 Higher), will be meeting with youth at 20 different schools throughout the week, ending his tour at the Muncie/Delaware County Senior Citizens Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 23. Kids that plan to meet him are encouraged to wear costumes, and with a $15 donation, they would also get a photo inside the Batmobile and take home a signed Batman poster.
He will be speaking with students to help raise awareness and overcome many issues they might face, such as bullying, school violence, drugs, depression, and suicide.
“Having overcome different types of child abuse, an emotionally broken home, bullying, suicide, addiction and self-destructive choices, I have made it my mission to help empower others to do the same,” Batman wrote on the Heroes 4 Higher website. “Tough things make us stronger.”
Suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst children aged 10-18, with the first being unintentional injury, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. While 20-25 percent of children experience depression, 60 percent of them receive no treatment at all.
Batman calls it a “silent epidemic,” and he gets his message of hope out to any child who needs to hear it. Having started in 2013, Batman has since been to over 800 schools, speaking with children of all ages across the country. He also speaks at libraries and churches.
“The only thing we take with us when we die is what we did for others while we are here. Do all you can to make a positive and peaceful difference,” Batman wrote on the Heroes 4 Higher Facebook. “[Including] repurposing the pain and empowering youth to overcome the tough things life brings.”
Individuals struggling with depression and suicide are encouraged to call the toll-free and confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone.