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Jacksonville teens create 'mental health toolkits' as suicide attempts amongst children skyrocket

From February to March 2021, suspected suicide attempt visits among girls 12 to 17 were 50.6% higher compared to the same period in 2019, the CDC says.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Editor's note: The video above is from a previous story)

Teen influencers in I’m A Star Foundation are sharing gift boxes of inspiration to students across Duval County to support their mental health. 

During the first school board meeting of 2022, the STARS presented toolkits to Duval County Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene, Board members, Chief of Schools Scott Schneider and Director of Mental Health Katrina Taylor. 

Middle and High School students who volunteer with nonprofit organization I’m A Star created the kits as part of their EmpowerMe initiative. 

Inner packaging of the box displays a QR code linking to motivational messages from STAR teens. The toolkits also contain a journal, motivational wristbands and pens, a “blessings jar”, a Beanie Boo and more. 

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According to the CDC, “From February to March 2021, suspected suicide attempted visits among girls 12 to 17 were 50.6% higher compared to the same period in 2019. For boys in the same age group during the same time frame, the rate was 3.7% higher versus 2019.”

“I hope that our toolkits let kids know that they are not alone and that someone is always thinking about them," says STAR Student Kennadi Larkins, a 9th grader at First Coast High School.

For more information, please visit www.imastarfoundation.org.

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