High school partners with Contact Community Services to offer suicide prevention and awareness program 

The Fayetteville-Manlius School District is partnering with Contact Community Services to offer a suicide prevention and awareness program for all high school students. 

The program, called “It’s Real: Teens and Mental Health,” will be repeated over six sessions with each high school student attending one session during their physical education class. Each session will have no more than 40 students so they can engage in dialogue with the presenter, Will DeSantis, a mental health educator with Suicide Safety in Schools.

Topics covered will include defining mental health, signs and symptoms of deteriorating mental health, how to start a conversation about mental health, how to reach out for help, available resources and the importance of self-care.

Sessions began May 13 and will continue through June 10. Because of the sensitivity of the topic and the recent suicide of sophomore Jay Lu, school counselors will be available to meet with any students who may need emotional support following the presentations. 

The district is also planning to schedule an evening parent program, and information will be shared once it is finalized.