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Baldwin Park Unified Raises Awareness on Suicide Prevention

BALDWIN PARKBaldwin Park Unified School District is recognizing Sept. 9 through Sunday, Sept. 15 as Suicide Prevention Week and will join the nation in marking September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in an effort to erase the stigma associated with mental health.

Students and teachers from Baldwin Park, North Park Continuation and Sierra Vista high schools’ National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) clubs are hosting events throughout the month to teach the warning signs and risk of suicide and to share stress-relieving and conflict-reducing activities.

NAMI is a student-led club that raises awareness on mental health and reduces the stigma on high school campuses.

“It is imperative for our students to learn about mental health issues and practice techniques that create a stronger understanding of emotional needs,” Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza said. “Baldwin Park Unified goes beyond the standard requirements for mental health and suicide prevention by ensuring all staff members are trained to recognize the warning signs and respond for early intervention.”

At Sierra Vista High School, students and staff wore yellow on Sept. 10 as a symbol of suicide prevention. Club members from NAMI, Gay-Straight Alliance club, AVID and ASB placed encouraging notes on every student’s locker before school on Sept. 12.

Sierra Vista will also show the suicide-prevention video “Directing Change” on Friday, Sept. 14 with a dialogue after to discuss the signs and how to speak up when a friend is in need.

Stickers with the phrase “Know the Signs” are being handed out to students, staff and parents who participate in the activities.

Baldwin Park High School will hold events Monday, Sept. 24 through Friday, Sept. 28 with activities that will include a “Dare to Care” booth, where NAMI members will hand out lifesaver candies to students who can answer basic questions on suicide prevention.

Baldwin Park High School will also display posters across the campus that provide hotlines and an information list on what to say and not say when supporting someone in a crisis.

On the District website, a page is dedicated to mental health and suicide prevention resources. Additional information can be found here: https://bit.ly/2NtQSoj.