Elizabeth Adams

By

College: Medicine

Teens Give Encouraging Words, Facts About Youth Suicide During Awareness Event

Published: Feb 11, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2014) - Kentucky teens will exchange cards, flowers and chocolates with their sweethearts this week in a display of Valentine's Day bliss. But a staggering number of Kentucky's youth aren't feeling loved or appreciated - and many are dealing with thoughts of suicide.

 

During the annual Spread the Love-a-Thon suicide prevention event held on Feb. 9, local high school students sparked dialogue about youth suicide and mental health using tablets, cellphones and laptops. A group of about 20 students spent a couple hours at the Temple Adath Israel in Lexington sending out "Lifelines," or messages that contain at least two compliments and statistics about suicide in Kentucky, to friends and relatives. The event was sponsored by the University of Kentucky Division of Adolescent Medicine and affiliated nonprofit Stop Youth Suicide.

 

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in people ages 10-24 in Kentucky and the third-leading cause of death in this age group nationally. Twelve out of 15 regional medical centers in Kentucky report a youth suicide rate above the national average. Suicide kills more Kentucky youth than any congenital disease or asthma.

 

Henry Clay High School junior Henna Khan and her sister Zaynab, a freshman, checked off names on a list of friends they hoped to encourage through texts and social media messages during the Love-a-Thon. Henna was using the social media platform Instagram to send out many of her encouraging messages. 

 

"A lot of girls have problems with the way they look," Henna said. "I'm trying to tell them that they are beautiful. It's a real confidence booster." 

 

Dr. Hatim Omar, chief of UK's Division of Adolescent Medicine, believes positive messages are powerful tools to fight suicide in the teenage population. Whereas adults can take months or even years contemplating suicide, teenagers have more compulsive suicidal behaviors. Thirty percent of teens who commit suicide had no mental illness. Omar said this is why genuine encouragement and kindness has the ability to intervene when a teen has the idea of suicide.

 

"Basically teens kill themselves when they feel they are useless," said Omar. "So if you give them the feeling that they are better than that, many times it's a life-changer."

 

Omar reminds students that encouraging words must be genuine to have an effect on their peers. He also pleads with parents and mentoring adults to spend time with their teens and create a safe environment their kids to speak openly without the expectation of punishment.

 

Leslie Aslam, a medical student at UK who organized the Love-a-Thon, said in addition to starting conversations about suicide in Kentucky's teenage population, the high schoolers who participate leave with a good feeling.

 

"They are very surprised at how good it made them feel to make other people's days," Aslam said. "They expected other people to feel good, but they didn't expect it to happen to them."

 

For more information about Stop Youth Suicide, visit www.stopyouthsuicide.com

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, elizabethadams@uky.edu; (859) 940-8104

dsc05314.jpg
September
 
 
1
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Receive 80% Refund
Suicide Prevention: Raising Awareness & Sharing Our Stories
Welcome Coffee
Game Show
Tue
2
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Wed
3
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Rosemary's Baby
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Pitch Perfect 2
Adjusting to College
Adjusting to College
Kickoff Football Season Grill Out
Thu
4
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Akira
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Whiplash
To Live in the Borderlands: A Household Perspective on Frontier Politics from the Middle Jequetepeque Valley, Peru
Fri
5
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
Go Swing Dancing!
Sat
6
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
Sun
7
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
Labor Day
Mon
8
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Ivory Tower
Tue
9
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Wed
10
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Selena
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Jurassic World
Adjusting to College
Terrace Time Out
Thu
11
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
The Late Night Film Series Presents - The Great Beauty
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Predator
Friday Swing Dance Lessons - Free!
Friday Swing Dance Lessons - Free!
Accounting Internship & Career Fair
Fri
12
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Sculptors On Paper
Swing Dance Lessons - Free
Sat
13
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Sun
14
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Outdoor Installation
Wildcat Wellness Expressions - Superhero
Mon
15
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Outdoor Installation
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
Women's Forum Board Meeting
Southern Sirens Concert
Tue
16
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Outdoor Installation
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Wed
17
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Outdoor Installation
Adjusting to College
Freedom of Speech for Higher Education Faculty
Interactive Issues Graffiti Wall for Constitution Day: "What Civic Issues are Most Important to You?"
Voter Registration and Information on Student Civic Engagement
Citizen Kentucky Project for Constitution Day 2015
Advocacy through Digital Citizenship
"Picking Cotton" in Context: A Discussion on Issues from the Common Reading Experience book
The Power of Symbols: Confederate Imagery in the Public Space
Thu
18
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Essay Contest for Constitution Day 2015
Outdoor Installation
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Dark Girls
The Late Night Film Series Presents - The Pokémon Movie
LexPhil Pre-Concert Buffet
Curator Tour with Stuart Horodner
Fri
19
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Swing Dance Lessons - Free
Sat
20
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
LexHop
Sun
21
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Expressions - Finger Painting
Mon
22
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
Tue
23
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Last Day to Receive 50% Refund
Thank-A-Donor Day
2 Day Business Internship & Career Fair
Pinterest Party I
Wed
24
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
2 Day Business Internship & Career Fair
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Wild Tales
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Mad Max: Fury Road
Adjusting to College
Thu
25
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
The Late Night Film Series Presents - All.I.Can
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Nightcrawler
Fri
26
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Paint the Town Blue/Banner Competition
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Swing Dance Lessons - Free
Swing Dance Lessons - Free
Arts Writing Workshop
Sat
27
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Paint the Town Blue/Banner Competition
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Sun
28
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Paint the Town Blue/Banner Competition
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wildcat Wellness Expressions - Mandala
Mon
29
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Kitty Karnival
Tue
30
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wed
 
 
 

Repeats every week until Fri Sep 11 2015 .
Fri, 09/04/2015

Repeats every week until Sat Nov 21 2015 .
Sat, 09/05/2015

Sat, 09/05/2015

Mon, 09/07/2015

Reset Page