Sam’s Run helps community address teen suicide

By: 
DAVID KEYES
Laurel Outlook Publisher

What does it take to save a life?
When it comes to teen suicide, sometime just asking questions and friends and adults stepping up may be the most powerful tools.
Sam’s Run was organized last summer in response to the suicide of an eighth grader in Laurel. It was the perfect example of a community responding to a tragedy.
More than 700 people participated in the inaugural Sam’s Run last year. High school teams ran together, families walked together and information booths helped spread the word. The pancake breakfast was also a hit.
A group called Step In lived up to its name after the teen’s suicide. This group of church and school officials, business leaders, parents and students combined to gather resources to reach out to at-risk teens.
LMS teacher and cross country coach Amy Caldiera said the run was a positive reaction to a tragedy.
The second Sam’s Run is this Saturday and organizers are hoping to repeat the success as well as reinforce the message.
Since last year, Step In has helped to provide free counseling to youth and has worked to create local teen support groups. Suicide awareness pamphlets have also popped up in schools and churches.
How many lives have been saved because of this outreach? No one knows but if even one life was saved, it would be considered a success.
Sometimes it takes a tragedy to motivate a community. The old saying is true that it does take a village to raise a child.
Each life is precious and is worth saving. I can’t think of a better way to cherish life than to come together Saturday to let teens know that they matter.

David Keyes is publisher of the Laurel Outlook.

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