Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens and multiple groups came together today to help save lives.
Today about 15 local groups who raise suicide awareness gathered at WT to share their resources with students. This was the first year that WT has hosted an event like this and a graduate student who holds the cause of suicide awareness close to her heart coordinated the event.
Abril Vazquez says that "Douglas and Natalie lost their son to suicide and being a recipient of that scholarship, working as an intern at the hope and healing place and being a social work student I felt that it was just something that we could put on to raise awareness."
"Amarillo has 3 times the national rate for suicides, that's why programs like this at WT are so important." A group called "Relate" participated today, and it's a new initiative from The Hope and Healing place to prevent teen suicide. The director stresses teens don't need to wait until they hit rock bottom to seek help, which is why they are trying to make their presence known. "The risk factors for teen suicide are actually just typical teenage behavior so it can be very difficult to spot those warning signs."
About 25 local teens have found refuge and help by coming to relate meetings. One of those teens is Tea Leal who has attempted suicide twice.
She says relate saved her life. "yes it did save my life. I was going through so much at the time and it provided me with a safe place to go. I could call anybody on that program and I could get help immediately, they could talk to me or they could do anything for me. So yes it did.
Relate meets the first Monday of every month and all teens are encouraged to attend.