Latina Teen Suicide Prevention Day of Action: 6/3/14

Equation Long


On June 3, 2014, a Day of Action was held across the City to raise awareness of the suicide epidemic for young Latina women. The day highlighted LIP’s new Survival Guide for Wise Latina’s in Training, which was designed with the help of the Taproot Foundationand raised awareness to the public, parents, teachers, students. Focusing on LIP’s new slogan and theme Survive, Thrive, Strive, the Day of Action was comprised of three components:

1.)     Survive: Part of the Survive activities consists of health and wellness workshops that educate young Latina women on physical fitness, reproductive health, eating disorders, cutting and domestic abuse. In line with this, in the morning, volunteers handed out the new Survival Guide at schools across the City – a seminar on the Guide took place at University Heights High School.

2.)     Thrive: Part of the Thrive activities consists of special talks and exhibitions by Latina artists. To celebrate the arts portion of the program, in partnership with El Museo del Barrio, LIP program participant’s art work will be on display in a special exhibit at the museum this month.

3.)     Strive: Part of the Strive activities consists of career mentoring and guest lectures. To highlight this portion of the program and the events earlier in the day the Day of Action culminated in a press conference on the City Hall Steps with parents, teachers, students and Elected Officials. 

Comunilife LIP Survival Guide Cover English

“Today’s Day of Action will help bring many Latinas out of the shadows of shame, anger and hurt and into our program where they can Survive, Thrive and Strive as Wise Latinas,” Dr. Rosa Gil, President and CEO of Comunilife said. “Today is only the first step towards breaking the silence of the suicide epidemic in the Latina community. I am extremely proud of the work we have done across New York City but there is still so much more work to do. Our Life is Precious™ program participants inspire me every day and it is my belief that today will raise awareness and help end suicide in our community.”

Here is what our elected officials said about our Day of Action:

“It is no secret that life as a teenager is difficult in our City – especially for young women. Today, we take a moment to shed light on the Latina suicide epidemic and efforts to stop it and save lives,” Letitia James, New York City Public Advocate said. “Comunilife’s Life is Precious program has helped so many young Latina women through difficult times, ensuring their survival by giving young women the tools to reach for their dreams. Comunilife ‘s Survival Guide paves the way to save so many more young Latina lives. I am proud to be part of this Day of Action and I encourage all young women to take this guide and turn it into a mission to survive, thrive and strive every day.”

“Suicide is a tragic and unfortunate problem in our community, and today’s suicide prevention Day of Action will raise awareness to this issue and hopefully save many lives,” Mark Levine, 7th District City Council Member said. “Comunilife’s ‘Life is Precious’ has worked tirelessly to help young Latinas in our community gain the confidence and skills they need that will enable them to turn away from potentially self-destructive behaviors and instead live happy and healthy lives. I am honored to participate in their Day of Action and I encourage all parents to go online and read the new survival guide with their daughters today.”

“Today’s Day of Action is crucial for our community,” Inez Dickens, 9th District City Council Member said. “Just this past weekend we lost yet another young woman to suicide. Programs like Comunilife’s Life is Precious work hard every day to bring resources to our community so young women can survive, thrive and strive. I am proud to be part of their Day of Action to raise awareness about this important issue.”

“I am honored to stand here today with an organization fighting to save the lives of young Latina’s,” Ydanis Rodriguez, 10th District City Councilmember said. “This Day of Action is just one in 365 and our message to raise awareness doesn’t end today. The life of every person is precious and the work Comunilife’s Life is Precious program is doing will help young Latina’s survive, thrive and strive. I look forward to working with them, using their new Survival Guide to help raise awareness and end suffering for Latina’s in our community.”

“Growing up in New York City as a young Latina isn’t always easy, I know” Annabel Palma, 18th District City Councilmember said. “Far too often young Latinas feel like they have nowhere to turn when they’re struggling. Comunilife’s Life is Precious Day of Action and new Survival Guide will help to end the stigma associated with suicide and give Latinas a place to go for help. I am proud to stand here today with Comunilife to raise awareness and end the silence.”

“I am proud to support Comunilife, an organization that has done such prolific work in our community to help young Latinas,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Chair of the Committee on Finance. “The Life is Precious program works with Latinas and their families to provide much needed counseling and mentorship to those who are contemplating or have attempted suicide. Today’s Day of Action brings awareness to an issue that affects so many lives in our community.  By raising awareness, we can help young Latinas survive, thrive and strive.”

A CDC Youth High Risk Behavior Survey revealed that in 2011, 11.3% of Latina adolescents in New York City attempted suicide. Latina teens attempt suicide at rates far greater than their non-Hispanic counterparts – more than twice the rate of white youth in New York City (11.3% vs. 5.3%). The report also stated that 16.6% of Latina teens in the City seriously considered suicide including 17% in Brooklyn, 17% in the Bronx, 17% in Manhattan, 12% in Queens, and 18% in Staten Island. With the growth of New York City’s Hispanic community, the number of girls at-risk rises daily.


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For more information contact Illyse Kaplan @ (212) 219-1618 ext 6166