Students throughout Arizona will join together in the first virtual conference to Speak Up, Stand Up and Save Lives.
Now in its fifth year, the event will run from 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on January 19, 2021 and will inspire attendees to create lasting ways to combat bullying, depression and suicide at their schools. The conference is free of charge thanks to partnerships and donations and is open to all schools in Arizona.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is a serious public health problem among all age groups. Among youth it exacts an enormous toll due to the significant years of potential life lost.
In 2017, there were more than 6,200 suicide deaths among adolescents and young adults ages 15-24, making it the second-leading cause of death for that age group. Y
outh suicidal ideation, attempt and completion are on the rise. Far more adolescents have suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide and survive than those who die by suicide.
Results from the 2019 Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System show that in the past year 19% of high school students seriously considered attempting suicide and 9% attempted suicide.
The conference offers students a chance to hear from local and national speakers who will address hope, resilience, self-compassion, empathy and the power within us all to care enough to speak up, stand up and save a life.
Another highlight of the conference will be the presentations of the Difference Maker Awards to a student, law enforcement official, and teacher.
According to Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux, Pendergast School District Superintendent and Gina Godbehere, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Bureau Chief, “Teen suicide is preventable according to the CDC. Prevention efforts should be aimed at all levels of influence: Individual, relationship, community and societal. Suicide rates for at-risk youth can be substantially reduced by knowing the signs, intervening and improving access to resources. All of these will be addressed at the conference.”
The conference is for students in grades K-12, adults and volunteers. There will be individualized breakout sessions for each age group along with sessions available for teachers, staff and parents alongside law enforcement members and government leaders to learn how to become trusted adults ready to respond to students in crisis.
For additional information or to register, visit the website at www.speakstandsave.com.