KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A movement that started in Johnson County is expanding - giving teens across the Kansas City Metro zero reasons to consider suicide.
About 50 people rallied at the J.C. Nichols fountain on the Plaza Sunday afternoon, carrying yellow signs noting the lack of reasons anyone has to commit suicide.
The group "Zero Reasons Why" gets its name from the Netflix show "13 Reasons Why." The superintendents for all six Johnson County school districts established the group after 15 teenagers across the six districts killed themselves in one academic year.
"There are other suicide prevention programs," explained Blue Valley West senior Pooja Jain on Sunday, "but this is teen led. So everything you see is what the teens do, and what the teens are saying."
Jain gestured to the dozens of people behind her at Mill Creek Park. "This is basically so we can mobilize our community. So right now we're trying to go in the Plaza, in the Kansas City metro area so we can mobilize people outside our Johnson County bubble."
"This is such a big problem," she added. "If it's happening in Johnson County, it's happening elsewhere. Right now, it's the biggest rise in teen suicide we've seen in the past two decades. It's so important to get everyone else here involved."
Jain continued to talk about the people the group reaches out to the most. "We are trying to tell people who are feeling a certain way, who are feeling down, who are scared to go talk to people, who don't feel like they should, we are telling them - 'Please go talk to people, please.'"
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. Click on this link to find local events happening during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
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.