Students in Silver Spring Learn About Suicide Prevention (VIDEO)
The school day started with games, sharing fun memories from the holidays, and favorite foods just before a more serious talk about one of the leading causes of death among teenagers: suicide.
To help in the efforts of preventing suicide among teens, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Montgomery County in partnership with Umttr– a nonprofit founded by teens to raise awareness on depression and suicide in memory of Winston Churchill sophomore Evan Rosenstock- hosted the Sources of Strength program at the Springbrook High School in Silver Spring where students learned how they can make an impact and help save lives.
“We’re training these students to be an agent of change that they can spread positivity and strength and resilience throughout the whole social networking of this school,” said Daniel Adams, national trainer for Sources of Strength.
According to a press release, Sources of Strength is a youth suicide prevention project that uses the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture and ultimately prevent suicide, bullying and substance abuse. The program is designed to prevent suicide by increasing help seeking behaviors and connections between peers and caring adults with a focus on hope, help and strength.
The same press release also stated that last year four Montgomery County high school students died as a result of suicide.
“As kids we’re not necessarily supposed to fix ourselves, but if we know what to do; we can go to an adult and ask for help,” said Crystal, student at Springbrook High School.
The CDC reports that a 2014 nationwide survey found that 16 percent of students reported seriously considering suicide, 13 percent reported creating a plan, and 8 percent tried to take their own life.
Students and school officials said listening and communicating is important.
“Share with us and let us move forward in what we are training to do with those kids,” said Madonna Brown-Miles, counselor at Springbrook High School.
Links for suicide prevention:
National Strategy for Suicide Prevention – www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org • 1-800-273-8255
National Alliance on Mental Illness of Montgomery County– www.namimc.org • 301-949-5852
Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. Crisis Center Help Line at • 240 777-4000