The Swanton Area Community Coalition (SACC) is mounting a campaign to raise awareness of youth suicide. Nationally, suicide is the second leading cause of death for children and young people ages 10 to 24 years.
Some of the most prevalent factors that have led to youth and self-harm are abuse in their homes, bullying, cyberbullying, underage drinking, and sexual assault, although these are just a few of the contributing factors. The reality is that right now, there are young people in the community considering and planning to end their lives, according to SACC.
SACC has included representatives from business, law enforcement, students and school leaders, prevention professionals, clergy, and several others in their campaign.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2017 youth survey results 32% of high school students experienced ongoing feelings of sadness or hopelessness, 17% said they’d seriously considered attempting suicid, 14% made a suicide plan, and 7% tried to kill themselves.
SACC’s campaign involves the distribution of stickers containing the important question, “Need Help?” and contact information to reach that needed help. SACC members are currently flooding high-traffic area businesses in the Swanton community and asking business owners and managers to help with distribution.
“Honestly, our kids are struggling and we have to become more intentional with our efforts to reach them,” said Andrea Smith, SACC program manager. If seeing one of these stickers motivates even one young person to seek help, we’ve made a good start. Obviously, we hope that our message might resonate to many young people who are feeling helpless and alone. We also want to educate adults on the warning signs that a young person may be considering suicide.