Bridgeport High School and Community Start Phase Two of Suicide Prevention Program Training

By Trina Runner on March 05, 2018 via

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in those aged 10-24.  That statistic was enough to make Bridgeport High School junior, Derek Hess, want to do something about it.  In November, the Bridgeport High School Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program was launched by Hess and nearly twenty students participated in training by the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention volunteer Michelle Toman.  Over 40 adults also attended the training in an effort to create a support network at the community level and to find resources to aid those suffering from depression and anxiety.
“The training was an intense experience and increased our awareness of how to identify signals that someone might be suicidal,” said Hess.  “We have spent the months since speaking with civic organization and church groups in order to gain support for the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program”
The students involved in the program have created posters to display around the school that have the Suicide Prevention Lifeline number on them.  The Lifeline allows confidential calls for those who are struggling and provides resources for ways to cope and get help.
“We put up over 40 posters around the school,” said Hess.  “We wanted to make sure that no matter where students went, they were reminded that their lives matter and that help was available.”
Over 700 yellow ribbons were also made by students.  The ribbons will be distributed to students in March as part of Yellow Ribbon Day.  Additional information will also be passed out to raise awareness of suicide prevention programs available.  The Indian Insider, Bridgeport High School’s televised announcement program, will also be featuring a series of facts about mental illness, suicide prevention resources and ways to seek help.
The official Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Training Program training will take place with students from all four grade levels on April 10.  Michelle Toman will return to give an intensive, interactive, full-day training session specifically targeted to teens.  The workshop will empower the group with ways they can intervene with peers and direct them to counselors and community resources that can help.
Also on April 10, a Safe Talk training will take place at Bridgeport High School. Safe Talk is directed toward adults and is different than the training that took place in November.  Twenty-five adults from the community can attend the training and must contact Trina Runner at to sign up.  The workshop will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“We are hoping that after both the students and adults undergo the training that we will be able to build a strong support system for the Bridgeport community that will enable us to make a difference.  We plan to continue training and implement what we learn to raise awareness of ways people can find help and support,” said Hess.

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