The Spread the Love Foundation strives to prevent teen suicide by educating students and adults on mental illness, which is the root cause of both suicide and addiction.
Suicide is a silent epidemic in this country:
someone chooses to take their own life every 12.3 minutes. It is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-24.
We must remove the stigma of suicide, as not simply an act, but a culmination of mental illness, trauma, and a lack of resources for living in the 21st century. Mental illness is a disease that is only growing and when left untreated, it becomes deadly.
If this were a physical disease stealing our children, we would be racing to find a cure. What then, can we do to stop this ever-escalating cause of death?
We must make a societal effort to meet the needs of our children. Their foundation for growth is not only in the hands of their family but must be in the hands of our community and schools as well. We must teach children how to behave, react, cope and socialize appropriately. But most importantly, we must teach them how to ask for help.
Mental illness is so difficult to diagnose in children because they don't have the words to express what they're going through. Even when they do express what they are feeling, adults often times view them as overly dramatic or hormonal.
We are sitting in silence while our children suffer. We must make an effort to identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness and teach adults how to react appropriately in crisis and noncrisis situations.
No longer can we turn a blind eye, pretend it doesn’t exist, sympathize with families who have lost loved ones, and move on with our hectic, unmanageable lives. The over stimulated, over medicated, under exercised, malnourished and incredibly disconnected kids of today are our future. Today’s society is unable to support what they need to become well-rounded, productive adults. We must acknowledge this and act accordingly. Education and open dialogue are the keys to making this change.
Two-thirds of all children will experience a mental health crisis in their adolescence and one-in-five will end up with a diagnosable mental illness.
The average length of time from onset of symptoms until treatment is 8 years.
Samantha Coburn tragically took her life on August 14, 2014, at the age of 19. Spread the Love was founded by her mother Carolyn and sister Megan in order to prevent other families from the horror of losing a loved one.
Loving, caring, and kind, Sami exhibited exceptional qualities. Sami is loved and missed by many, but through this program, her spirit lives on.
This video was taken less than two weeks prior to Sami’s suicide.