September 25, 2017

Suicide Prevention Awareness WeekSeptember is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. NJCDC's Teen Center at Passaic Valley Regional High School highlighted this important cause by holding a variety of different workshops and activities for students and staff during the week of September 11-15.

To kick off the week and spread awareness of the cause, the Teen Center distributed 900 "PV Teen Center Supports Suicide Prevention Awareness" bracelets to students and staff. The Teen Center also hosted various programming activities that included, but were not limited to, debunking mental health myths, recognizing signs and symptoms of suicide, and identifying resources such as prevention hotlines. One of the workshops held during the week was led by a guest speaker from Passaic County Women's Center; this workshop educated students on the impact of sexual assault and how it relates to mental health and suicide.

Suicide Prevention Awareness WeekAdditionally, the Teen Center facilitated a workshop where students were presented with a list of questions and statements and asked to step forward if it applied to them. The questions and statements included, "If you have ever felt judged for being you, take one step forward" and "If you have ever been stopped or if you have stopped someone from hurting themselves or taking their own lives, step forward." This activity was eye-opening for the students, as it allowed them to view their closest peers in a different light and normalize their differences. It also helped students show more sympathy and compassion for one another. To further encourage kindness, the Teen Center posted compliment slips, which also provided mental health facts and resources, throughout the entire school.

In an effort to conclude--and brighten up--the week, the Teen Center held a Life Savers activity where students were provided with statistics regarding suicide and how to be a life saver. Participating students were entered in a raffle and were eligible to win a jar of lifesaver candies. Last but not least, the Teen Center also held a "Sweeten up Your Week" ice cream social where students were able to indulge in a treat and wrap up the week's activities.

NJCDC's CEO Bob Guarasci said, "Each year, more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide. Conversations, workshops, and activities like the ones held at our Teen Center at Passaic Valley Regional High School can change someone's life. We're proud to bring awareness to this important cause."

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