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Education

A bullying and suicide prevention organization offers help for Campbell County schools

Stand for the Silent table
Hugh Cook
/
Wyoming Public Radio
A table for Stand for the Silent is seen at the entrance to a grocery store during the organization's trip to Campbell County.

The impacts of bullying on young people have been well documented in recent years. Sometimes, it can lead a young person to take their own life.

Stand for the Silent, a non-profit organization was launched in 2010 and aims to address these issues and provide local schools with funding and resources. Its headquarters are in Oklahoma City, but now the organization is working on a nationwide presence.

Hannah Lyons assists in fundraising efforts for Stand for the Silent and says that the organization seeks to focus on areas that have high rates of suicide.

"We are a nationwide organization, but we go around to communities that are in need and fundraise for that county specifically," she said. "Since we're from Colorado, like we know Wyoming, Montana, the nearby states.[They are] very high on the suicide watch, so we go to those places that would need some help."

Lyons and two of her colleagues came from Westminster, Colorado and spent a week in Campbell County, an area her organization is watching.

According to Campbell County Prevention, 109 Campbell County residents have taken their own lives in the past decade. This doesn't include the 15 minors who have killed themselves during that period.

They raise funds for county governments, which can then be re-allocated for school use, Lyons said. This funding allows for counselors to be placed in schools to help those experiencing bullying or thoughts of suicide.

Lyons said that Stand for the Silent is not currently active in other areas of Wyoming, but there are regional offices that search for other areas in need. This could include plans to branch out to other areas of Wyoming.

She and her colleagues had a positive experience in Campbell County.

"We just wanted to thank Gillette for being so kind and so generous and so welcoming to us," she says. "There's definitely a need for some resources out here and we are just so happy that we could help provide the community with the help that they needed, just to help Campbell County and get some resources into the schools."

Wyoming has one of the highest suicide rates nationwide. According to the Wyoming Department of Health, the state's suicide rate was nearly double the national average in 2019, with 29.4 per 100,000 people in comparison to the national average of 14.5 per 100,000.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by texting "WYO" to 741-741 for the Crisis Text Line.

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