NEW YORK, Sept. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- To coincide with Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the Ad Council, in partnership
The month of September is characterized by transition as young adults return to school or depart for college for the first time, making the Seize the Awkward message of checking in with a friend especially timely and relevant. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young adults and for every youth suicide it is estimated that 100-200 others attempt suicide1. Young adulthood is a time when many people experience significant stress from life transitions such as gaining more independence and responsibility when moving from home and beginning college or a career. It is a critical time when many experience mental health issues. Friends of young adults are often the first to recognize signs of an emerging mental health problem and an estimated 76 percent of young adults turn to a peer in a time of crisis for support.2
"This extraordinary group of leading digital, social and experiential partners will give us the opportunity to reach teens and young adults where they are at a time when they may need to hear this critical message most," said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. "Each of our September activations offers a unique opportunity to authentically connect with young adults and provide the necessary resources to start important and potentially life-saving conversations."
Throughout the month of September, Seize the Awkward will encourage 16- to 24-year-olds to create a safe space for their friends to open up about mental health challenges. To coincide with Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and the back to school season, the following partners will provide significant exposure and customized content on their platforms. The month-long activations will conclude on September 26th with a Seize the Awkward Twitter chat at 2pm ET hosted by JED, giving individuals the opportunity to ask and answer questions related to the campaign.
"AFSP thanks our partners Ad Council and JED for their collaboration on Seize the Awkward," said CEO Bob Gebbia, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. "Today's youth are having real conversations about mental health and suicide. Through this campaign, we are giving them the tools and resources in the digital spaces they frequent to have these conversations in a safe way – by doing so we are empowering them to save lives."
"Teens and young adults often know when their peers are struggling with emotional health issues," said John MacPhee, CEO of JED. "Seize the Awkward is seizing on the opportunity of heightened awareness during National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month to meet young people where they are — online — and give them the chance to ask questions about how they can help a friend in popular and low-pressure, accessible platforms like Reddit's AMA and Tumblr's Answer Time. JED is grateful to work with our partners at the AFSP and Ad Council on this campaign."
Since its launch in January 2018, the Seize the Awkward campaign has garnered 7.5 million video views and over 87,000 sessions on SeizeTheAwkward.org, where visitors can explore resources and tools to help them start a conversation with a peer around mental health. To learn more about the campaign, visit SeizeTheAwkward.org and follow #SeizeTheAwkward. To get immediate, free support 24/7, call 1-800-273-8255 or text "SEIZE" to 741741.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that's smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
The Jed Foundation (JED)JED is a nonprofit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation's teens and young adults. We're partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programs and systems. We're equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We're encouraging community awareness, understanding and action for young adult mental health. Learn more at jedfoundation.org.
Check out our programs including: JED Campus (jedcampus.org), Set to Go (settogo.org), ULifeline (ulifeline.org), Half of Us (halfofus.com) and Love is Louder (loveislouder.com).
Connect with JED: Email | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn
The Ad Council The Ad Council brings together the most creative minds in advertising and media to address the most worthy causes. Its innovative, pro bono social good campaigns raise awareness. They inspire action. They save lives. To learn more, visit AdCouncil.org, follow the Ad Council's communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.
1 CDC; ACHA NCHA
2 First-Year College Experience Survey: Harris Poll; JED; Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, The Jordan Porco Foundation; College Mental Health Study: Stress, Depression, Stigma & Students; mtvU/JED
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