SAMSHA, the Ad Council and Inspire USA Foundation have announced the launch of a national public service announcement campaign designed to reduce the occurrence of suicide and suicide attempts among teens. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds. SAMSHA is dedicating a full throttle effort to address mental health issues and substance abuse in an effort to reduce risk and increase protective factors that are linked with suicide.
The goal is to raise awareness for teens that there are resources, places and people to turn to for help. The campaign, WE CAN HELP US, includes TV, radio, print and interactive PSA’s aimed at 13 – 17 year olds. It carrries a positive message of hope and ability to get through difficult times by reaching out. The PSA’s tell teens they are not alone and suggest ways others have successfully worked through issues.
The Reach Out web site incorporates youth generated, expert reviewed information and real life stories with opportunities to connect with others in a supportive, safe environment. Issues covered include warning signs of suicide, depression, advice on relationships, coping strategies. It features video, audio stories and other interactive features. Every pages includes the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-talk.
Collaborating organizations include SADD among others. The PSA’s are very empowering and deliberately focus on positives and coping strategies. The website is absolutely wonderful, comprehensive by risk topic and will be attractive to teens and draw them in. REACHOUT.com will be featured in the peer training, How Not To Keep A Secret, to be held Wednesday, April 7th at Boston College High School. Please take time to review the web site. It is an invaluable resource for teens, educators, parents, clergy, law enforcement and all others who are dedicated to helping teens safely navigate the adolescent passage.