LifeAct Promotes National Suicide Prevention Week this September 5th-11th
Cleveland-based LifeAct joins organizations across the country in recognizing National Suicide Prevention Week this September 5th-11th.
Chagrin Falls, Ohio – Much like mental health conditions, suicidal thoughts can affect any one, no matter their age, race or gender. September 5th-11th marks National Suicidal Prevention Week, and LifeAct, a local nonprofit that provides depression awareness and suicide prevention education to more than 185 schools in Northeast Ohio, encourages people to share resources and stories to shed light on this stigmatized topic.
Sadly, suicide in our community’s young people is a crisis. According to the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Centers for Disease Control, the national average for young people in 9th-12th grade for attempting suicide is 8.9%. In Cleveland, that number more than doubles, as 18.9% of our community’s young people have attempted suicide during their lifetime.
Vicki Jeromos-Blayney, Director of Programs at LifeAct notes “LifeAct focuses on two things that we know to be true: suicide is preventable and depression is manageable. Simply starting a conversation around mental health and suicide can make a sea change of difference in young people, and LifeAct provides a number of resources on our website of how to begin those conversations.”
LifeAct, based out of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving young lives and reversing these alarming trends. Through our award winning, evidence-based programming for both middle and high schoolers, we teach students to manage stress, recognize the signs of depression and how to access the tools to help themselves and others. Our caring instructors facilitate learning and collaboration with the students by teaching this sensitive topic in a small group setting. By focusing on helping students to reach out when they or others need help, we empower them to take the steps towards a healthy and productive life. Since the start of our programming 20 years ago, more than 300,000 students have received the LifeAct program at no charge in their middle or high school.
LifeAct’s CEO, Jack Binder, notes that “National Suicide Prevention Week serves as an important reminder for us all to include our future generation in the discussions of mental health. Half of all lifetime cases of clinical depression begin by age 14, and its important for parents, guardians, grandparents and other family and community members to support the young people in their life by talking about mental health, which helps to reduce the stigma surrounding the it.”