The Scioto Foundation has announced a new scholarship fund established by the Scioto County Suicide Prevention Coalition to benefit graduates of Scioto County high schools or non-traditional students in the area. The $1000 scholarship will be awarded to any Scioto County School senior or a nontraditional student that lives in Scioto County who has been touched in some way by a suicide of a loved one. The first scholarship will be available in the spring of 2020.
Interested applicants must complete the Scioto Foundation’s on-line scholarship application and submit an essay about suicide and how it has impacted their lives, said Sue Shultz, chairperson of the Scioto County Suicide Prevention Coalition. Members of the Scioto County Suicide Prevention Coalition will submit “a short list” of candidates to the Scioto County volunteer scholarship committee to make annual scholarship selections.
The Scioto County Suicide Prevention Coalition is a group of counselors, social workers, teachers, social service agencies, faith-based partners, businesses and citizens united in addressing the various issues of suicide throughout Scioto County. Raising awareness, providing trainings, educating schools, general prevention and responding in the aftermath of a tragedy are all services the coalition strives to accomplish.
The Scioto County Suicide Prevention Coalition started in 2016 as a subcommittee of the Scioto County Health Coalition. It was initiated as the result of the fact that Scioto County’s suicide rates were beginning to rise and the need was great for a coalition to help with the education and awareness to our community on Suicide Prevention,” Schutz said. “The Coalition created a Speakers
Bureau to educate groups, schools, businesses, etc. on the risks and signs of suicide and a Crisis Response Team made up of certified counselors to respond to a critical traumatic incident, to help the survivors cope with the loss and the stress related to such an incident.”
“The Coalition teamed up with Shawnee Family Health Center to present the Shine a Light on Suicide Awareness Annual 5k Walk which is held each September. The proceeds of the walk have been donated to the Coalition and this is how we have been able to start the Scioto County Suicide Prevention Scholarship,” Shultz explained. “Suicide can strike almost anyone during the course of their life. It usually happens when a person is in a highly emotional state. Scioto County’s suicide rates have been rising the last few years and many factors can be contributing to this alarming rise. The Coalition’s mission is to educate the public on the signs and symptoms to watch for and what to do if they notice someone exhibiting these signs and to reduce the stigma associated with depression and other mental health issues”.
“The Scioto County Suicide Prevention Coalition is also working on bringing Challenge Day to the Schools of Scioto County. Challenge Day is an organization that will come to the schools and spend 2 days with the students and staff, doing different awareness activities, i.e. bullying awareness, suicide awareness and self-esteem building exercises to be able to get the students to open up to each other about what is happening in their lives and to stop bullying, which can lead to a suicide,” Shultz added.
Additions to the Scioto County Suicide Prevention Scholarship Fund may be made by friends and supporters in the form of gifts of cash, securities or property to the fund at any time. Further information about the Scioto County Suicide Prevention Scholarship Fund or other planned giving opportunities may be obtained by contacting Scioto Foundation Executive Director Kim Cutlip or Patty
Tennant at the Scioto Foundation office, (740) 354-4612 or by visiting the SF website at www.sciotofoundation.org.