Forsyth County Schools raising awareness and support during Suicide Prevention Month

John Thompson

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(Photo/Forsyth County School District Facebook page)

(Forsyth County, GA) If you see a lot of students wearing yellow this Friday, September 9, there’s a good reason for it.

Across the country, September is Suicide Prevention month, and the Forsyth County School district is encouraging secondary staff and students to wear yellow to support the effort.

School District Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Caracciolo said the system has numerous programs to assist students seeking help.

One of the programs, called Sources of Strength, is currently being used by six of the middle and high schools in the county.

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(Photo/Sources of Strength)

According to the company’s website, “The mission of Sources of Strength is to prevent suicide by increasing help seeking behaviors and promoting connection between peers and caring adults.”

Caracciolo said the district also follows the Jason Flatt Act passed in 2015 by the Georgia General Assembly to train all certified school personnel.

“Each year, our counselors and social workers facilitate a guided discussion with school personnel on youth suicide awareness and prevention,” Caracciolo explained. “We work collaboratively with Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities to equip our staff with updated information and resources to support suicide prevention.”

The district also uses the Signs of Suicide program.

The program is described on its website: “Designed for grades 6-12, SOS teaches students how to identify signs of depression and suicide in themselves and their peers, while providing materials that train school professionals, parents, and communities to recognize at-risk students and take appropriate action.”

According to the Jason Foundation, “Suicide is a national health problem and currently ranks as the second leading cause of death for ages 10-45. Suicide is also one of the most preventable types of death in our nation.”

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(Photo/Centers for Disease Control.)

The Centers for Disease Control states: “​​Some groups have higher suicide rates than others. Suicide rates vary by race/ethnicity, age, and other factors, such as where someone lives. By race/ethnicity, the groups with the highest rates were non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic White populations.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call the Georgia Crisis and Access Helpline at 1-800-715-4225 or the new national Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number 988.

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, contact John Thompson at johntct@aol.com

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I've been writing articles around the metropolitan region for 30 years. My work has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the NY Post, and other regional newspapers.

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