Two suicide prevention public service announcements produced by three Northwood High School students were selected to air in local theaters beginning this month.
The top two PSAs were “Get Help,” submitted by Sophie Geiger and “See How You Can Help,” submitted by Rowan Arnold and Jay Hutchins, according to a release from the county’s Department of Health and Human Services.
The PSAs were chosen from among those entered in a contest aimed at preventing teen suicide that was co-sponsored by Gandhi Brigade Youth Media and the county’s Leading Adaptive Change for Suicide Intervention workgroup.
The winners will air in the county’s Regal and AMC theaters through April. All seven submissions are available for viewing on social media and local cable channels.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among school-age youth.
The video contest was created to support the county’s BTheOne youth-led, suicide prevention campaign, which was launched in October 2017.
The website, designed by former local high school student Ray Crist, includes information on resources and ways to help others who may be at risk for, or considering, suicide, which was the theme of both of the winning entries.
“We know that teens often talk to their peers and value their perspective and that is one reason why teen ambassadors such as the students who submitted PSAs play an important role in bringing awareness to the issue of teen suicide,” said County Executive Marc Elrich and Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith in a congratulatory letter to students.
“I’m hoping people pay attention and maybe if just for a second we can make them think, then every second that we make them think, those add up to more seconds,” Geiger, a sophomore, told WUSA9, “and the longer we can make them think about this, the more they’re going to do.”
Screenshot from BTheOne website.