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Gila Ridge to participate in National Suicide Prevention Week

Gila Ridge High School will participate in National Suicide Prevention Week on their campus with the continued implementation of the Yellow Ribbon Project and the motto: “It’s ok to ask for help.”

To help raise awareness in the Yuma area, Yuma Regional Medical Center founded the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Committee. The committee is chaired by Foundation of YRMC Board Member, and Yuma Union High School District Board Member, Shelley Mellon and includes Tom Tyree, Lynda Penny, GRHS Guidance Director Ginny Legros, Dr. Rob Takesuye and his wife, Ginny Takesuye.

This program is vital to not only our school but our community,” Legros said. “It is a very prominent issue nationally. We need to continue to educate. Educating our school and community is a positive first step.”

Legros and her staff take initiative to personally train all departments on campus to recognize the warning signs and how they should respond to provide help to students.

The committee’s goal is to bring Yellow Ribbon awareness to all YUHSD campuses.

“[I want students] to know that they have the ability to help,” Legros said. “They may not have a clinical background or a counselor’s background or anything of that nature, but they are the key to being able to prevent suicide and being able to just speak out the word ‘suicide’ is very, very important. They are the ones that will be able to teach their parents, their grandparents about how to talk about a topic that is very prevalent in today’s society.”

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the rate of suicide in the United States has steadily climbed since 2006. As of 2015, teens and young adults, aged 15 to 24, make up about 12.5 percent of the nearly 45,000 deaths by suicide each year. Additionally, according to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24.

The Yellow Ribbon Project is dedicated to preventing youth suicide and attempts by making suicide prevention accessible to everyone and removing barriers to help. The program’s two keys are: empowering communities and individuals through leadership, awareness, and education, and by identifying/collaborating with support networks to save lives. For more information, visit yellowribbon.org.

James Kuzniak
jkuzniak@yumaunion.org