Denise went into her room. She pulled down the shades and turned off the lamp so no light was present at all. Going into the bathroom, she gathered whatever was around – aspirin and codeine, allergy medication – and swallowed the pills one by one. Then she took off her clothes, got into bed and waited to die.
Denise is one of some 80,000 young Americans, aged 15 to 24 years old, who attempt suicide each year. More than 6,000 succeed, making suicide the third leading cause of death among adolescents, after accidents and homicides.
Have you ever felt suicidal? If you have, or if you know of someone who has thought of suicide, there is a hotline that you or they can call to get information on the nearest support centers.
The Communications for Living class at T.L. Handy has formed a group called PATS, “Peers Against Teenage Suicide” to help people in this condition.
The group was founded by the students with the aid of the students’ teacher, Mrs. Betty Williams. She commented that the PATS Hotline should be quite effective because she feels “an informed friend can do more to help other kids who are in stressful situation than anyone else.”
PATS is an organization made up of teens who are concerned about the rising number of their peers who commit or attempt suicide today. Its purpose therefore is to make available informative and educational resources which are within the community that offer support to teens in crises.
The students have asked many agencies to come in and speak. Mr. Joe Rainey, Director of White Pine Psychiatric Center of Saginaw Community Hospital was informative , offered support.
The 24-hour informational hotline will be answered with a pre-recorded message which gives the caller the numbers of emergency support centers in our area which offer immediate help. If the caller wishes a call back from a peer all the caller has to do is leave name and number.
The number of the 24 hour-informational hotline is (517) 684-6365. If you have any other questions or concerns please contact – Mrs. Betty Williams, T.L. Handy High (517) 684-1723. Also contact Mrs. Williams if you have an interest in joining this group to help out another.