Local High Schools Create Alcohol Use and Suicide Prevention Media Messages

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
The East Ascension High School team who were recognized at a recognition event last week sponsored by the Capital Area Human Services agency. The schools were awarded mini-grants and the students at East Ascension created suicide prevention public service announcements. Shown, left to right are Conor Cannon, EAHS teacher Lori Yglesias, Mahogany Green, Luke Gorman, Capital Area Human Services Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, Ph.D., Faith Carmouche, Alyssa Lavigne, Maylen Mire and Jacky Mitchell.

     High school students produced public service announcements on suicide, alcohol and underage prescription drug use prevention-designed messages to reach their high school peers and the general public through social media. The public service announcements were funded  with Capital Area Human Services mini grants awarded to East Ascension High School, McKinley High School and Scotlandville Magnet High School. Members of the school's creative design teams studied the issues of drug and alcohol use prevention, as well as ways to recognize and prevent a teen suicide to develop their messages.

     The students recently released their newly produced video prevention media messages at a Behavioral Health Collaborative meeting held at the Capital Area Human Services agency in Baton Rouge. PSAs included dramatic presentations of factual information and encouraged students in need of help to call the Capital Area Human Services agency or to go to RealHelpBR.com.

     The mini-grants are the first provided to schools for student-designed media development. CAHS provides grant funds to many schools and school systems for alcohol and drug use prevention programming in the region, including East and West Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, East and West Baton Rouge, Ascension and Iberville.

     "We encourage the schools to share these important messages with students, parents, faculty, and members of the community," said CAHS Prevention Division Director Vivian Gettys.

     All of the students and their faculty advisors received certificates during the session from CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky, Ph.D, who thanked them for their meaningful prevention messages.