Teens create 'Aevidum'

Term means 'I've got your back'

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Texting, sexting, Google; all words that didn't exist 10 years ago and now they are part of our everyday lives. Now, a group of teens have made up another word to bring awareness to a very important, even deadly topic. We show you the meaning of Aevidum.

You've probably never heard this word before, and you won't find it in any dictionary. That's because Aevidum was created by students.

"It means I've got your back. It's basically saying I'm looking out for you, I'm there for you," explained Ben Porter, a senior at Cocalico High School.

One aspiring teacher and a former student at Cocalico High School hopes this word will save lives. Maggie Cardin's own personal tragedy inspired it.

"My brother was an athlete. When he was 15, he took his life and it was devastating for our whole family," said Cardin, an education student and Aevidum President at Penn State.

Joe Vulopas, executive director of Aevidum, was Philip's last teacher.

"'Philip what are you going to do this weekend,' and he looked at me and he gave me that response that most teens will say if a teacher asks them, ‘I don't know Mr. Vulopas,'" he recalled.

"Because it was a suicide people didn't know what to say to us," said Cardin.

The group is now spreading the word throughout schools in Pennsylvania, helping teens through depression and thoughts of suicide.

The CDC reports suicide is on the rise in teenagers. In fact, one in six high schoolers has seriously contemplated suicide. One in twelve has tried to take their own lives. The goal of Aevidum is to educate kids and their teachers.

"So that they can be first responders," explained Cardin.

These teens hope to spark a worldwide educational revolution.

40 schools in Pennsylvania have already signed up to be part of Avedium. They hope to get the message across through video, t-shirts, even songs produced by students themselves.

Cardin hopes to graduate from Penn State next year with an education degree and has already set a plan in motion to change mental health training requirements for educators. For more information on Aevidum, log on to aevidum.org.  The national lifeline is also 1-800-273-8255.

Additional Information:

It's scary to think about, but suicide rates as well suicide attempts increase as children enter adolescence. Why does suicide seem so prevalent amongst teenagers? The reasons can range from mental illness to stress to problems in their personal lives, and sometimes an explanation just isn't clear. Although girls are twice as likely to think about or attempt suicide, boys actually die from suicide four times more than girls. This has to do with how the sexes typically attempt killing themselves. Where girls more often try to overdose on pills or cut themselves, boys will opt for more lethal methods including hanging, shooting themselves, or jumping off a building. (Source: www.kidshealth.org

Signs Of Teen At-Risk:  Sometimes family and friends can feel blindsided by a loved one's suicide, but signs that an individual may be suicidal often go unnoticed or are overlooked. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Performing Poorly in School
  • Feelings of Worthlessness or Guilt
  • Extreme Changes in their Personality
  • Loss of Interest in Activities they Used to Enjoy

(Source: www.nami.org)

What To Do: Suicide is such a sensitive and complicated subject that some people want to help but don't know what they should do. For one thing, if someone talks about killing themselves, do not brush it off. 80% of people who commit suicide gave warning or mentioned their feelings to friends or family beforehand. It is also important to address your concerns to the person you are worried about. It is good to let them know that other people care and are willing to help rather than ignore the situation. While it may be uncomfortable broaching the subject of suicide or the person fears that they may only worsen the issue, it is better to talk about it. Finally, you should help the person find professional care, whether it's through a suicide hotline or a known medical professional. (Source: www.nami.org)

The National Suicide Hotlines:

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) OR 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

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