Sparta HS has peer support suicide and crisis prevention program - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Sparta HS has peer support suicide and crisis prevention program

According to research, suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth between the ages of 10 and 24.

But a group of high school students is trying to change that statistic.

At Sparta High School, there are 21 students called Sparta Lifesavers.

It’s a peer support suicide and crisis prevention program that started in 2010, where high school students in all grade level who are interested in becoming lifesavers, are trained not to be counselors, but listeners.

It’s a three-day training that gives these Sparta lifesavers a chance to lend an extra ear for their peers who are going through a a difficult time.

Lifesavers say it’s a program that allows any student to open up and know that they’re not alone.

"There's a sense of understanding and community within the high school students because we all experience it together," Sparta lifesaver, Isabelle Hamilton said. "Some of us handle it different ways, and some of us don't have it as bad as others, but there is that sense of...'you're on my level too.'"

"And there's a lot of high school students who you wouldn't even suspect would have these kind of issues and they don't want everyone to know," Sparta lifesaver, Rachel Wilson said. "And it's really good to for them to have high school students that they know they can come to in confidentially and talk to. So I've personally helped a lot of people."

The program started back in 2010. One of the sponsors of the program, Kelley Gardiner says a Lifesaver can help others work out personal and emotional problems before they become life-risking. 

For general information on suicide prevention, click here.

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