SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – September marks National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Jenkins High School is recognizing the month with their #IWontBeSilent campaign.
“We want our students to know that suicide, in many cases, is preventable, so we want to make sure they don’t stay silent,” Jenkins High School counselor Theresa Horace said. “If they have a friend or a loved one who expresses that they are having a rough time and maybe a threat to themselves, we want to make sure that they speak up and tell a trusted adult so that we can get some help.”
Students and staff took a school-wide lesson through the Jason Foundation, an organization dedicated to preventing youth suicide.
Students were able to donate $1 dollar in exchange for a dress-down day.
“It was just to show solidarity amongst students and staff that we won’t be silent in this epidemic,” Horace said.
All the money raised on the dress-down day will go back to the Jason Foundation.
The 501 C-3 organization was started by Clark Flatt, whose 16-year old son struggled with suicidal thoughts. Flatt’s son Jason lost his life to suicide, so his father started a foundation in his memory to make sure students know how to get help if they need it.
For one Jenkins student, the cause hit close to home.
“For years, I’ve always dealt with people around me struggling with their own mental health, and in January I lost a family member of my own,” Jenkins High School student Emily Keyes said. “When I heard that we were doing a donation for suicide prevention and awareness, that was something that was close to my heart and I felt as if I should help out and help raise more money.”
Emily raised an additional $400 for the school initiative. To express the school’s appreciation for her donation, the school gifted her with a gift card.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 9-8-8 or 800-273-8255. You can also call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1-800-715-4225.