JoCo teens start ‘Zero Reasons Why’ campaign to provide mental health help

LENEXA, Kan. -- In Johnson County, teens are taking the lead on a very serious issue with a new approach to a suicide prevention program.

Teens are leading a new campaign called Zero Reasons Why, an obvious response to the popular Netflix show, "13 Reasons Why." The show was popular with teens but angered many parents and teachers who felt it dramatized teen suicide without offering healthy solutions.

So now this new peer-to-peer campaign aims to spread the message that there are zero reasons to consider suicide.

The campaign is being spearheaded by a council, with members from each of the high schools in Johnson County. Their most recent meeting focused on gaining some public awareness with bracelets, yard signs and stickers.

The goal is to set up a peer-to-peer network among teens to let them know they're not alone and there are other teens willing to listen and talk. Another goal is to shatter the negative stigma surrounding mental health issues and bring a delicate issue into the light.

Many of the teens leading the effort know firsthand what it's like to struggle with mental health.

"I'm on the tennis team. I got straight A's and everything. I'm part of FBLA, Future Business Leaders of America. I'm the president in it. Some people, they're more shy about their story and, you know, try to keep it off to the side," Blake Burns said. "They're like, 'Blake, it's so crazy that you did this. I feel like I can come out with my story and be able to talk or be able to talk to parents or some of my friends about what I'm going through.'"

The teens with Zero Reasons Why said their next major goal is to organize a march in Johnson County. They also hope that eventually Zero Reasons Why could expand to other districts in the metro beyond Johnson County.

One in four people battles depression, and for some it leads to suicide. But it doesn’t have to.

FOX4 encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about depression. Silence helps no one.

Below you’ll find helpful information that will benefit those battling depression or suicidal thoughts. If that person is you, know that there are people who care.

Suicide Help Hotlines

If you are thinking of hurting or killing yourself, please call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

If you are struggling and need to talk to someone who understands, call 1-866-WARM-EAR or 913-281-2251.

If you need more information or a referral, please call Mental Health of America at 913-281-2221.

No matter your financial situation, there is help available. Please seek help if you or someone you know is suffering.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, we urge you to get help immediately.

Go to a hospital, call 911 or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

Click on the boxes below for our FOX 4 You Matter reports and other helpful phone numbers and resources.

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