Student leads school in suicide prevention awareness project - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Student leads school in suicide prevention awareness project

BOLLINGER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

National suicide prevention week is September 7 through 12.  

One heartland school has been raising awareness about the issue all week long. The idea to do so began with one student.

Through the efforts of eleventh-grader Kassy Henson, more than 100 students at Meadow Heights have made the pledge against suicide. This is proof that even one student can make a big difference.

“[It’s just to] spread the message that suicide is an issue that occurs with teens and hopefully just make it a thing of the past,” Kassy said.

Her project is called Stomp out Suicide. Each day of spirit week had a theme. Friday, students and staff wore smiley faces.

“You’ve got your smiley faces going both directions. So then, you get to decide if you’re going to be happy or you’re going to be sad,” Kassy said.

Through the week, Kassy has educated her peers and encourage everyone to join the fight against suicide, the third leading cause of death for people ages 10 through 24, according to the CDC.

“Every person helps. Every person can save someone,” Kassy said.

One of Kassy’s teachers, Kimberly Edwards, says it’s inspiring to see a student making an impact in the entire school.

“This isn’t necessarily just about Kassy. It’s about everyone and helping other students,” Edwards said.

She says through programs like this, student know where to go to get help and peers learn how to help each other.

“If we would extend the kindness to other people then maybe they won’t go home and do that or they won’t think about it as often,” Edwards said.

For Kassy, the issue is personal.

“I had a family member that tried to commit suicide,” Kassy said.

This week, she’s also handing out lifesaver candies, encouraging everyone that together, we can stomp out suicide.

“Tell people that ‘Hey, it’s an issue and it’s an issue we need to address,’” Kassy said.

“Stomp out Suicide” is a part of Kassy’s Girl Scout gold award project.

It’s the highest level of achievement for community service projects in Girl Scouts.

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