Suicide Prevention Month: Waynesboro Public Schools shares resources

National Suicide Prevention LifelineSeptember is Suicide Prevention Month, and Waynesboro Public Schools is joining in on activities to raise awareness and share resources around the issue of suicide prevention.

According to the 2019 Virginia Youth Survey, 16 percent of high school students indicated that they seriously considered attempting suicide in the 12 months prior to taking the survey. CDC data indicates that suicide is the second leading causes of death in children aged 10-14 and youths aged 15-24.

Matt Bailey, director of counseling at Waynesboro High School, is a strong advocate for raising

awareness and ending the stigma associated with seeking mental health help.

“It is important to always ask for help. If you suspect something is wrong with someone or if you need help yourself, please reach out to a trusting adult so that they can guide you to the resources you or someone that you know may need,” Bailey said.

Waynesboro Public Schools has several resources and numerous mental health professionals students can turn to for support. In addition, the school division partners with Valley Community Service Board and Family Preservation to offer school-based outpatient services.

“People are less likely to (attempt) suicide if they have a connection with someone. That is why we make building relationships with students our primary focus,” Bailey said.

The Virginia Department of Education has launched several weekly events to bring awareness and share resources for parents and school staff around the issue of suicide prevention. Find these resources on the VDOE Suicide Prevention Website.

If you or someone you know needs help The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free number, 1-800-273-TALK(8255) will connect you to a certified crisis center near where the call is placed.

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