Local resident's spread self-worth awareness as teen suicide ris - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local resident's spread self-worth awareness as teen suicide rises

Amarillo, TX - As teen suicide rises in our area, some local residents are taking it upon themselves to spread the word of self-worth.

Within the past year, Amarillo has seen multiple cases of teen suicide, and according to Lacey Turman, Jack Duncan Rhodes Teen Suicide Prevention Director, it is an increasing trend. "Teen suicide is definitely something that is on the rise, and we feel passionately that we have to do something about it," Turman said. "It's unfortunately a trend we can't afford to ignore any longer. Actually according to Texas Mental Health...in a study that they did, says that Texas has the highest risk factor for teen suicide in the country for youth, so that's just not something that we can ignore any longer."

And that's exactly what Dawn Pringle and Danny Albright are doing. Spreading awareness of the importance of life. "It's been important for me to let people know they have worth and value, but I never thought of doing anything like this, ever," Pringle said. "So Thursday morning it was go tell people, go tell people, so here I am."

Pringle and Albright are spending every day at a different street corners in Amarillo holding signs reading "You are important" and "You have worth and purpose." "This world is hurting and there's so many people that are suffering and just willing to end their lives, and if this helps in some small way and just lets people know, 'hey you know what, you have purpose, you have value,' then that's great, that's what we want people to know is that life is worth living and that you're important," Albright said.

A study by the American Pediatrics Association states 90 percent of all suicidal teens don't feel understood by their families and seek friends for comfort, who may not always be aware of a struggle.

Local organizations are wanting to promote education for the community on suicide and how to help decrease the trend. "You know teen suicide isn't something that a lot of people are wanting to talk about so its actually nice to see that people are taking it upon themselves to talk about it, to do things such as standing on a street corner with uplifting signs," Turman said.

The two residents plan on meeting at street corners every day until they feel the message has been passed along to our community.

Amarillo's Hope and Healing Place is also spreading the word and will be hosting a Celebration of Life benefit on Sept. 27 at Golden Light Cantina and Cafe from noon to 6 p.m.
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