Be Aware

By| Aliyah Glover



By| Aliyah Glover

Last night, FAMU hosted the Jason Foundation Suicide Prevention seminar. The turnout was remarkable. People were standing along the walls of the Grand Ballroom.

The audience was filled with members of other organizations around Tallahassee like Big Bend and Capital Regional Medical Center.

“I was really impressed with the turn out,” said Amanda Wander, network coordinator for Big Bend Community Based Care. “I’m glad to see that we have a community that wants to address this issue.”

The keynote speaker was Clark Flatt, president and Co-Founder of the foundation. His message was to inform the audience on the statistics and outcomes of youth suicide.

He even got personal and shared his story about when it hit home. His son, Jason Flatt, took his own life at the tender age of sixteen. The impact was devastating for his family it brought them so much grief and sadness.

“If it had not been for family and some very good friends, I’m not sure if I’d be here today,” said Flatt.

Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death in Florida for youth ages 10-14. And the third leading cause for middle school youth ages only surpassed by unintentional injuries and homicide. 1 out 4 kids answered in a survey to say they’ve had thoughts of committing suicide.

Stephan Eicher, volunteer for 211 Big Bend said, “It was very eye opening. Even though I volunteer for crisis hotline suicide is something you can help people with and should.”

Each week on average we lose 117 youth to suicide. That’s 6,100 kids a year in America, that’s why the Jason foundation is working so hard to prevent this from becoming an epidemic. We are losing more people to youth suicide then we are to care accidents.

“After hearing the statistics I feel that sharing them with people I work with and friends. I think that would be a big step as far as awareness and realizing that this is something that affects everyday people,” said Eicher.

The Jason foundation does not charge schools, churches or organization to come out and give a course to raise the awareness of youth suicide.

The Second leading cause of death for ages 10 to 24 is suicide. That’s why it’s important to know the sign of concerns. You never know what the person next to you is feeling or going through. Because the range of these numbers fall in the ages of college students it’s important that awareness is raised around the campus you occupy.

“I’ve experienced suicide and it’s not something I would wish on anyone because it doesn’t only affect the family it affects the whole community,” said a senior Criminal Justice Major Ashley Holley.

Per Crisis on campus world-wide statistics, suicide is currently the 2nd most common cause of death among college students. 1,100: number of suicides that occur at colleges every year.

If you are having problems or thoughts that you don’t think you can control or know of someone having a hard time dealing with these types of thoughts FAMU has grief counselors available 24 hours for you to talk to. You can call the office at 850- 599-3145 or visit the website.


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