Anti-Suicide Campaign Enters Second Year

Natalia Arzola, Reporter

Zero Reasons Why is a teen-led storytelling and community mobilization campaign to prevent teen suicide. The organization works with teen activists who want to see mental health conversations elevated and the suicide rate amongst their peers reduced alongside the local mental health center, COMCARE of Sedgwick County. Southeast has had access to the organization for a little over a year now.

The goal of the campaign is to decrease teen suicide and have help-seeking behavior increase in Wichita and beyond by amplifying teen voices through sharing stories and perspectives, so that teens can ask for help without fear of shame or judgment.

ZRW might help schools provide further support and resources on mental health and suicide prevention for students. The organization believes that through spreading awareness, a decrease in teen suicide will be seen. 

“I’m driven to work alongside our council as a campaign manager because I really do believe it takes all of us—teens, parents, educators, health professionals and the community—to improve education and increase awareness,” project manager Naomi O’Donnell said. “Just being open to listen and being willing to take action is enough for anyone to create change, and I’m here to support our council with any resources, structure or support they need.”

Resources that can be found at almost every school include counselors and administrators. However, students we spoke with (who asked not to be identified) believe that there is room for improvement.

“Some things that they can help out with is better understanding than going straight to the parents and contacting them, and it can just stay between the student and that adult and not telling everyone about their business or issues, and having maybe like a cool off hour or something like a nice comfortable room where they can sit and they can talk,” a freshman girl said.

For teens and young adults, suicide is the second-leading cause of death, according to the CDC. The CDC also says that nearly 20% of high school students report seriously considering suicide and nearly 9% have attempted. 

ZRW hopes that by reducing the stigma around mental health, more young people will ask for help if they need it. 

Interested in getting involved in the campaign? If so, visit and fill out the sign up form provided under the category “Get Involved” after choosing your title.