July 29, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
60°F

Walk to raise awareness for teen suicide prevention

MEDINA — Medina Schools, along with other community sponsors, is hosting an “Out of the Darkness” Campus Walk, part of a national fundraising campaign aimed at preventing teen suicides.

“We’re doing this because our students are really looking for a way to support suicide prevention,” said Kris Quallich, director of education services at Medina High School.

The walk starts at 9 a.m. Friday on Public Square. Anyone is welcome to participate and Quallich said students and families from other communities in the county already have signed up.

“For some this will be a memorial and for others it will be to support suicide prevention,” she said.

The walk is one of three sponsored by the American Society for Suicide Prevention to raise money for research and education programs to prevent suicide. The Campus Walk focuses on teens and college-age students.

In January, two Brunswick students were found dead from apparent suicides. Families around the county have struggled to cope with student suicides. Prior to the deaths of the Brunswick students, there were at least four teen suicides in the county in the last two years.

A survey conducted by Living Well Medina County found that a fifth of the county’s high school students have “seriously considered suicide.”

Recent peer deaths prompted students in Brunswick and Medina to create videos encouraging suicide prevention and highlighting local resources for those struggling with suicide.

“We have more students supporting prevention efforts and we’ve seen our leadership clubs want to take this issue on,” Quallich said.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.