Washington Intermediate staff distribute door hanger bags with suicide prevention resources

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Dinuba school is finding new ways to support their students amid these challenging times.

Washington Intermediate School staff are making sure a special delivery makes its way to every one of their student's doorsteps.

"We got permission to at least hang something on their door and put a message, an I miss you message in," said Coordinator of Student Services Michelle Warkentin.

Ahead of Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week, staff is distributing a door hanger bag that includes important information, help hotline info, words of encouragement and some other goodies.

"It's probably the most important it's ever been considering these times and what people are going through," said Warkentin about the information.

School counselors wanted to find a way to reach out to their students, so they got busy, putting together roughly 1,000 door hanger bags.

"I mean even us as adults, not having that opportunity to see your friends every day, interact with family members, they're experiencing that void," said School Counselor Justine Lucatero. "They want to be engaged, they want to be involved."

They're teaming up with Dinuba Police, the Rotary club and community members to make deliveries all week long.

"When they're here we can see what they're going through, we can talk to them and it just feels very disconnected right now," said Warkentin. "It's hard to read someone off of a screen. They might be going through stuff at home, their parents might be struggling, they might be struggling."

Most importantly, the goal is to make sure students have access to the valuable information they need.

"We do care for them and if they are struggling with something there are lots of resources here in Dinuba," said Warkentin.

They say this is just the start. They plan to pass out door bags each month with different resources for students.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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