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2011-01-30 / Community View

Where there is help, there is hope

Ed-Tech students promote suicide awareness
BY JACOB HUNSANGER

ATTICA TWP. — Two high school girls saw a problem in the county and did something to help. Lisa Fulton and Meghan Ford, both 17-year-old high school seniors, made and sold silicone wristbands to raise awareness of teen suicide in Lapeer County. They donated $300, the total earnings from the sale, to Lapeer Community Mental Health (CMH) Thursday (Jan. 27).

On hand to accept the check were Dr. Robert Sprague, chief executive officer, and Melody Munro-Wolfe, communications specialist. They were surprised and happy to accept the donation. “This was completely unwarranted,” noted Sprague. “Just the fact that they’re getting involved with the community is really important.”

Fulton, of Imlay City, and Ford, of North Branch, decided in October that they wanted to help raise money for suicide prevention and the CMH hotline in particular. Both girls attend the Lapeer County Education and Technology Center in Attica


Dr. Robert Sprague, CEO of CMH, accepted a $300 check from two charitable local high school girls. Dr. Robert Sprague, CEO of CMH, accepted a $300 check from two charitable local high school girls. Township.

The teens contacted Munro-Wolfe looking for ideas on ways to help. Munro-Wolfe said she gave a few suggestions but never heard back from the girls. She was surprised when got a phone call last week saying they had a check ready for her.

Fulton and Ford designed the wristbands and ordered them through 24hourwristband.com. The wristbands are bright green and say “Stopping Teen Suicide One Kid At A Time.” To advertise, they made signs and posters to hang around the school. They sold the wristbands for three months, at a cost of $1 a piece, in classrooms, school tours and the Imlay City High School girls’ powder-puff football game. “We wanted to do something to raise awareness of a problem in our county,” said Fulton.


Lisa Fulton (left) and Meghan Ford (center), 17-year-old seniors at Ed-Tech Center, accepted certificates of appreciation from Melody Munro-Wolfe of CMH for their fundraising and awareness project for suicide prevention in Lapeer County. 
Photos by JACOB HUNSANGER Lisa Fulton (left) and Meghan Ford (center), 17-year-old seniors at Ed-Tech Center, accepted certificates of appreciation from Melody Munro-Wolfe of CMH for their fundraising and awareness project for suicide prevention in Lapeer County. Photos by JACOB HUNSANGER The number of suicides, both attempted and completed, has increased dramatically in the last two years. In 2009 Lapeer County had nine confirmed suicides. That number grew to 14 suicides in 2010. Previous to 2009, suicides in the county averaged annually between 5-7. While suicide rates have increased in every age and gender group, the largest demographic for completed suicides is middle age males. However, women and teenagers make up the majority of suicide attempts.

The $300 raised by Fulton and Ford, said CMH, will most likely be used to fund a billboard campaign in the county. That campaign will be aimed at raising awareness about the issue and promoting the hotlines and facilities that are available to help those in need. The message of the billboard, which comes in connection with a brochure being produced by the Suicide Prevention Network in Lapeer, is “Where there is help, there is hope.”

Fulton and Ford took their community service project to Bay-Arenac Saturday for the annual Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) state competition. They presented a powerpoint presentation and portfolio of their work before a panel of judges and other students.

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