CEC students host Teen Suicide Awareness campaign

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Suicide is the third leading cause of death for those between the ages of ten and 24 and more than 4,000 lives are lost each year.

For that reason, a group of Wichita Falls ISD students are taking a stand.

Business students in the Career Education Center hosted a Teen Suicide Awareness campaign Thursday evening.

All in hopes to decrease those numbers and remind students that help is out there. The campaign started as a small project at the Career Education Center.

Gwyneth McHugh, a business student, pitched the idea back in August because she knew from the beginning she wanted the project to deal with suicide awareness.

"During that time I had known several of people who committed suicide," McHugh said. "A couple of them were accidental suicide but in reality, they still struggled with depression."

This small project became a reality Thursday night with the help of her business education teacher and her classmates.

Ketra Davenport-King, the career education business educator, said their goal was to benefit the community.

"I realize that our students carry so much stress and they don't know how to deal with coping mechanism and mental illness is real," Davenport-King said. "They begin to internalize their problems and their best way out is...well I'll just kill myself and that's not the way out."

A nationwide survey of high school students by the CDC shows that 16-percent of students considered suicide,13-percent reported they created a plan and 8-percent admitted they've actually tried ending their life.

Davenport-King said bullying is one of the reasons teens commit suicide.

"This day and age we have social media like Facebook and Snapchat and Instagram.The bullies now have other vehicles that can affect a more broader audience and the person feels that they have nowhere to go," Davenport-King said.

McHugh hopes many benefit from this campaign.

"When they walk out they will have a completely different view and they will realize how this is affecting our society and how to prevent things like this from happening," McHugh said.

The campaign took place at the Career Education Center and several agencies that deal with suicide prevention were there to answer questions.

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