Assemblies were coordinated in collaboration with CCHS school psychologist and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Colonie Central High School iCare program hosted its first series of assemblies focused on mental health and suicide prevention. The assemblies were held in multiple sessions this week on Thursday and Friday in the high school auditorium.
“Annually, students participating in the CCHS iCare program select a charity at the beginning of the year to support,” said Associate Principal Brian Scalzo. “With a continued focus around the rising mental health needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, our students decided to focus this year on supporting suicide prevention.”
“We are thrilled to partner with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,” said Executive Principal Thomas Kachadurian. “As a student club committed to offering a common forum to express and affect change for the better of the school community, our students felt it was important for our student body as a whole to learn more about the cause and the organization we are partnering with this school year.”
Kachadurian cites that, “Challenging topics like mental health or suicide prevention typically carry a stigma inhibiting conversation from students to faculty. We hope our efforts this year allow all students the opportunity to talk freely about mental health awareness and learn to be advocates for each other.” Kachadurian goes on to add, “We have a talented staff at CCHS and need to remind our students of the care and support offered, where to access these resources throughout the school day and what to do when challenges arise outside of school hours.”
“Every year, we as students see the news and hear stories of suicide happening around us. We have to process the information and figure out how to cope but very rarely are we told what we can do to help or prevent the next one from happening. This assembly will provide new information and shed light on a difficult subject and provide us students with insight on how to properly address suicide awareness.“ said by Treva Warzocha, CCHS 12th grade student.
Later this year, iCare will host a variety of events to support American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Upcoming events include: Halloween High set for Thursday, Oct. 28, the annual Chili Cook off and Raiderfest. More information to follow once details are finalized.
Colonie Central High School iCARE began as an initiative where both faculty and students could have a common forum to express and affect change for the better of the school community. iCARE is a character-building program that uses five core values to shape decision making. The ultimate goal is that students and adults in the Colonie community understand and enact the ideologies of Integrity, Community, Accountability, Respect, and Empathy as defined through the many interactive teachings of iCARE character and community workshops.
About American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
Established in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.