RFH Students Share Empowering Message for National Suicide Prevention Week

The Peer Leaders of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) are encouraging their fellow students to share a message that can save a life. Volunteers from the student organization are selling wristbands with an empowering message — “I can NOT be replaced” – and encouraging buyers to share them with those they care about.

The sale is taking place during lunchtime from September 11 through September 19 as part of National Suicide Prevention Week. Proceeds will benefit Children’s Crisis Intervention Services (CCIS) at Monmouth Medical Center/Barnabas Health in Long Branch.

The wristbands were originally designed by Youth Speakers Melissa and Chip Dayton, who founded “You Can NOT Be Replaced®” in the wake of a suicide cluster in their community. The Daytons created the wristbands in response to their daughter Emily’s question, “Don’t they realize they can’t be replaced?” The RFH initiative is In keeping with Emily Dayton’s desire to have the wristbands passed around as an act of kindness and encouragement.

RFH Student Assistance Counselor Suzanne Fico, who helped organize the wristband sale, stressed the importance of supporting CCIS in its mission to serve children and adolescents. “CCIS Director James Romer and the Crisis Counselors work extremely hard throughout the year to assist me and my peers with interventions when students experience significant emotional difficulties,” said Ms. Fico. “They are the only facility in Monmouth County with beds available for adolescents experiencing suicidal or homicidal thoughts.”

Activities and programs designed to inform the general public about suicide prevention and the warning signs of suicide are featured throughout National Suicide Prevention Week. It has been held annually in the United States since 1975 in support of World Suicide Prevention Day, which takes place every year on September 10. Teen suicide is a growing problem in the U.S. and worldwide. Suicide is the leading cause of death for those in the U.S. between the ages of 10 and 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2012, the CDC reported that nearly one in six students has seriously considered suicide, and one in 12 has attempted it.

In addition to benefitting CCIS, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of wristbands at RFH will be provided to “You Can NOT Be Replaced” in support of student empowerment programs hosted by the Daytons. Over 23,000 wristbands are currently circulating throughout the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.