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Knox County Schools, TSPN Encourages Students to Speak Up Save Lives

September is National Suicide Prevention Month and Knox County Schools is partnering with Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN) tomorrow, Sept. 29, in the #SpeakUpSaveLives17 campaign to bring awareness of how speaking up can save a life.


The Speak Up Save Lives campaign is focused on reinforcing the value of speaking up if you recognize warning signs that might indicate another student may be thinking about suicide. Some of these signs may include:

  • Acting out of character
  • Saying they feel hopeless, helpless or worthless
  • Loss of interest in things they care about
  • Hinting of not being around in the future
  • Saying goodbye
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Talking about suicide


Schools are encouraged to unify by wearing suicide prevention colors (purple and grey) or their team colors. Teachers will be leading intentional conversations with their classes. The goal is to help create a culture of caring, opening doors for students to reach out and/or talk to a trusted adult about how they are feeling or who they are worried about.


In early August, Phil Fulmer, former UT football coach and spokesperson for The Jason Foundation—a national organization dedicated to the prevention of youth suicide through education and awareness programs—spoke to KCS PE, health and wellness teachers about the importance of suicide prevention. Following his remarks, teachers participated in a two-hour suicide prevention training led by The Jason Foundation.


The local suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 or you can contact TSPN by texting TN to 741741.