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A Life Worth Saving

WI Staff | 9/6/2012, 3 p.m.

The stresses that impact the lives of young people in the District of Columbia cause them to make some extremely unhealthy choices. Drug use, unprotected and premature sexual activity, pregnancy and violence top the list of those choices that continue to plague the D.C. community. But when young people feel their voices go unheard and their lives are discounted by adults and their peers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] report that District teens disproportionately choose suicide as their only recourse.

This news is nothing new for youth advocates, including those who work at the D.C. Department of Health. Resources have been tapped to address this issue that has also found its way into the office of D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson who alerted members of the D.C. City Council late last year.

The most recent report from the CDC is that nearly 12 percent of the District's high school students say they have attempted suicide, a figure that nearly doubles the national average. Middle school students are not exempt from this horrific act, either.

September 10, 2012 marks the 10th anniversary World Suicide Prevention Day. This year's theme is "Suicide Prevention across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope," which focuses on preventing vulnerability and strengthening resilience. The purpose of drawing the world's attention to this critical issue that impacts even our youngest victims is to raise the awareness that the prevention of suicide is everyone's bus