Photos by Katherine Odell
September is known as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It’s focus is primarily on promoting resources and awareness around the issues of suicide prevention. Schools in the Shawnee Mission School District will be partaking in activities and programs throughout the month in an effort to spread the word about suicide prevention. The activities include announcements, guest speakers and resource giveaways.
This month there will be announcements over the intercom in an effort to reach out and spread the facts regarding suicide. The message is intended to catch the attention of students resisting the urge to get help for suicidal thoughts.
School social worker Elizabeth Kennedy encourages students to download the “#notevenone” app on their phones. The app has warning signs of suicide, safety plans, resources and maps to the nearest help center.
On Sept. 14, East’s social workers Elizabeth Kennedy and Emily Macnaughton will have a resource table outside of the cafeteria. These resources include rubber wristbands and pamphlets with prevention advice for anyone in need. Kennedy and Macnaughton will also be available to answer any questions or concerns.
The closing event will be a resource night at Shawnee Mission South starting at 7 p.m. in the orchestra room. Students will have the opportunity to hear from and meet resources within the community, who will share information about suicide prevention services and how to access them.
This event is free and open to any students, parents or caregivers who want to join. Join to hear from a panel of experts from several community agencies.
Crisis Hotline : Call 24 hours a day, seven days a week | 800-273-8255
Crisis text line : Text “start” | 741-741