Teen Suicides Prompt New Prevention Ad Campaign
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2010 Mar 31
A public service ad campaign launching today is designed to help troubled teenagers before it's too late.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds, following accidents and homicides, according to government data.
In an effort to reduce such tragedies, the government worked with the Ad Council and the Inspire USA Foundation to create "We Can Help Us," a national public service advertising campaign. It includes TV, radio and print PSAs as well as posters in schools and malls.
This campaign comes on the heels of a number of recent Associated Press reports of teen suicide:
•Phoebe Prince, 15, of South Hadley, Mass, hanged herself at home in January after experiencing a wave of severe taunting, bullying and physical threats by some fellow students in school and on Facebook.
•Marie Osmond's son Michael Blosil, 18, committed suicide in late February, jumping from the eighth floor of his apartment building in Los Angeles. He left a note in which he referred to his life-long battle with depression.
•Two sophomores from Norwood, Pa., died in an apparent suicide pact in February when they stood on train tracks and were killed by a high-speed Acela train.
•Six confirmed or suspected suicides have occurred this academic year at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.