This article discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline available 24/7. To reach the 24/7 Crisis Text Helpline, text 4HOPE to 741741.

AMANDA, Ohio (WCMH) – It’s suicide prevention week and one local school is mourning the loss of one of their own.

Earlier this week, an Amanda-Clearcreek student died by suicide.

This week happened to be HOPE week for the students. The superintendent, Timothy Edward, said this just made it more real for the students. 

The HOPE Squad is a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program. Its mission is to reduce youth suicide through education, training and peer intervention.

Each day this week, students were encouraged to wear a different color that matched a different theme. Powerful messages can also be seen throughout the halls as a reminder to students that they are never alone. Additionally, the district brought in extra counselors this week.

Amanda is a tight-knit community, and during times like this, it’s important for the community to come together.

“Community support is so important in suicide prevention because when someone is struggling, they feel like they’re all alone. They feel like they don’t have anybody that understands or they don’t want what they’re going through to be out there. They don’t want to be judged, no one wants to be judged for something they’re feeling,” said the Executive Director of the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, Tony Coder.

According to the Ohio Department of Health’s most recent data, suicide was the second-leading cause of death among Ohioans ages 10-34, and the 12th-leading cause of death in Ohio, overall. Deaths have increased in 2021 by 8% over the previous year, but the numbers of deaths remained below the 10-year high in 2018.

“We lose five people a day in the state of Ohio to suicide. We see about 30 to 35 people a day in that state that come to emergency rooms for suicide attempt. In addition, we see around another 200 people that come into our emergency departments with suicidal ideations,” Coder said.

There are some signs to look out for, the biggest is just not being the same person they were. It’s a good idea to check on loved ones who are withdrawing from normal activities, or even a teenager retreating to their room more often than normal.

“I go to a lot of funerals of folks who have died by suicide. Every funeral that I’ve ever been to, a person always says, what else could I have done? No one has ever said to me, ‘I did too much,” Coder said.

If you or someone you care about needs help, there are resources available.