Comunilife’s unique Life is Precious™ program prevents suicide in young Latinas – the teen population with the highest rate of suicide attempt in the country. Life is Precious™ combines individual and group counseling, arts therapy, academic support, and nutritional and fitness activities. Psychiatric services are provided by partnering clinics.
LIP has three program sites – the South Bronx, Bushwick, Brooklyn, and Long Island City, Queens – which are warm and comfortable spaces, staffed by empathetic, strong women with a deep understanding for Latina culture, language, and challenges. LIP reaches young women at the highest risk for self-harm.
To date, more than 200 girls have gone through the program. Thanks to our efforts, they have improved academic performances – where once 50% of these young women were held back or dropped out of school, now 100% are being promoted on time. They have improved family relationships – finding the language, the support, and the approach with which to work out deep personal conflicts with parents and grandparents who struggle to understand what they are going through or what they need. They are making friends – finding solace in the company and support of girls who are going through the same battles that they are. They are feeling new pride in their bi-lingual, bi-cultural backgrounds.
Most importantly – not one of our deeply troubled Latina teens has completed a suicide attempt since joining the program.
“The program taught me that I’m not alone. Other girls get mad, just like me – and sometimes for the same reasons as me. When I see other girls opening up, I feel braver.”
“They know when you need help here – you don’t even have to tell them. They give you their hand. And then they give it again. They give it till you know they really mean it.”
“If anything, God forbid, happened to any of us, it would hurt all of us. So we all take better care of ourselves.”
“I am Latina smart.”
For more information contact Michelle Bialeck