Students Take Action
Congratulations to the White Swan Dream Makers for being featured on NBC Right Now for taking action and addressing suicide and mental health promotion in their community.
Students Take Action, Bringing Awareness to the High Rate of Suicides in White Swan
Posted: May 19, 2015 10:21 PM EST
WHITE SWAN, WA.- Suicide can be hard to talk about, but schools in White Swan are doing something about it; they’re looking to take action and train both students and teachers on suicide prevention.
In Washington suicide is the second leading cause of death and here in White Swan it has certainly taken its toll. Around 2008 five students in the Mount Adams School District committed suicide, something that shocked the close knit community.
“I actually had a friend that tried to do it, not far from where my house is, so it was kind of shocking, that was my best friend,” middle school student Jayenell told us.
But that’s when students took action, creating an organization aimed at reaching out to students in distress. The White Swan Dream Makers made it their mission to get involved, determined to bring suicide rates down.
“There were five suicides in a period of five months, but ever since we started that program there’s only been two suicides and that’s been since 2008, so that’s progress,” High schooler Alejandra Adame said.
In September of last year students were given a health survey, faculty told us twenty percent said they had considered, planned to, or attempted to commit suicide, showing many students still needed support.
“Suicide prevention efforts needed to be done, so we got a lot of people from the community and a lot of organizations together to put on Tuesday’s event,” White Swan suicide liaison, Stacy Deleon explained.
Students and faculty helped the community better understand how to prevent suicide, in what they call the CPR of suicide, teaching them how to question, persuade, and refer a person struggling with suicidal thoughts.
“Instilling hope in students is what is key, just making sure we are aware of typical student behavior verses something out of the ordinary, so we can step in and prevent more deaths from suicide,” Deleon said.
Students and Faculty met Tuesday evening at the Mount Adams District Offices; they encouraged anyone interested in learning more to attend.
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