LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Suicide among young adults and teens is a silent epidemic in Arkansas. It is the third leading cause of death for Arkansans 15-24 and the fifth leading cause of death for those 10-14.
The most common method of teen suicide is firearms. Beyond death statistics, in 2000, one in 12 Arkansas teens attempted suicide and one in five contemplated it.
Greg Adams works directly with suicide awareness at Arkansas Children's Hospital. He coordinates the International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day event annually in November in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and other suicide survivor support organizations. Adams works directly with those dealing with loss associated with suicide; for more information or to coordinate help on ACH's work, please visit ACH's Good Mourning Center website.
He is also coordinating an upcoming panel on suicide prevention and awareness in partnership with the Marie Foundation.
The Marie Interfaith Civic Leadership Awards will honor William McCastlain and Steve, Cindi and Ariel Blackwood, whose families have lost a member to youth suicide, for their work in suicide awareness and prevention. The Marie Awards event will be at 2 p.m. September 25 at Temple B'nai Israel and will include a panel lead by Adams.
The public is invited to RSVP to on the Marie Foundation's website; the event is free and open to the public.
Panelists will be Chris Epperson, Chair of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, McCastlain and the Blackwoods.
The Marie Awards wants to make the public aware of the most important risk factors for suicides:
- Previous suicide attempts.
- History of depression or other mental illness.
- Alcohol or drug abuse.
- Family history of suicide or violence.
- Physical illness.
- Feeling alone.
The award, now in its 12th year, recognizes leaders from different faiths and different segments of the community who address important issues and problems facing Arkansas and our nation.