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Kate Miller's Fundraiser:

The Jason Foundation Fundraiser At GDS

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Kate Miller

THE STORY:

This is a multi-day fundraiser at Georgetown Day School consisting of a bake sale, a raffle, and a donation box to raise money for the Jason Foundation. The Jason Foundation is a non-profit that specializes in the spreading youth suicide awareness, education, and support to students (particularly adolescent students). The Jason Foundation was founded by Clark Flatt. Mr. Flatt lost his 16 year old son Jason to suicide in 1997. It specializes in the spreading youth suicide awareness, education, and support to students (particularly adolescent students).

This is really heavy stuff, and I know that it's hard to talk about. That's part of the issue, actually. The uncomfortable feeling about mental and emotional illnesses, or this idea that suicide is a taboo subject leads to it being ignored. That works about the same way as abstinence-only sex ed. When kids don't have the opportunity to be educated about something, they have to deal with it anyway, but they can't manage it safely. With abstinence only sex education, this leads to STDs and unplanned pregnancies. With lack of mental illness education, this leads to youth suicide.

It is entirely possible to lead an average life with mental illness. I cannot stress that enough. If you are provided with the proper tools and support, you can balance your bipolar disorder or your schizophrenia or your depression with the rest of your life. That is what the Jason Foundation's aim is for today's youth.

The reason that I chose a foundation that is focused on youth is fairly simple. Being a teenager is really hard. Everyone says that high school is preparing you for "real life." All of life is "real life," and high school is just as stressful without the added social pressures. For 12 to 18 year olds, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death. This means that suicide kills more adolescents than cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease COMBINED. There are roughly 5,400 adolescent suicide attempts in the United States EVERY DAY. That's a lot of human beings. That is a lot of human beings feeling as though, after, let's say, an 1/7 of their life, they cannot find the strength to keep fighting their suicidal ideations.

Everyone deserves to be educated enough to at least know that there are resources out there for them. Let's do it.

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