Suicide Prevention and Awareness Week is observed in the Shawnee Mission School District from Sept. 6 through Sept. 10, 2021.
In this week of focus, within Suicide Prevention Month, SMSD joins numerous organizations and individuals across the country sharing resources and helping community members take action in order to prevent suicide.
While suicide awareness and prevention takes place throughout the year, the month of September allows us all an opportunity to highlight and emphasize this critical mission, noted Dr. John McKinney, director of student and family services.
“There is nothing more important than the safety of our students,” Dr. McKinney expressed. “To ensure their safety and wellbeing, we must empower them with skills, strategies, and the resources necessary to persevere through tough times and situations. We also want them to know how to access mental health support when needed.”
Throughout this month especially, mental health professionals in the SMSD raise awareness and provide resources designed to help students and families proactively care for mental health. Each school has also developed building-specific activities for this week to engage and empower students.
“An important focus is helping students understand that mental health is just as important as physical health,” Dr. McKinney added.
Led by students representing all Johnson County schools, SMSD also continues its partnership with the #ZeroReasonsWhy campaign. This community mobilization campaign working to “drive productive conversations to affirm there are zero reasons why suicide is an option.”
In support of Suicide Awareness and Prevention, the SMSD shares the following resources:
If you, your child, or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.
En Español: 1-888-628-9454
Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889
Crisis Text Line by texting: 741741