Raising teen mental health awareness in wake of Hazel Green football player death

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death in teenage boys.

The issue was once again brought to the forefront Monday with the death of 16-year-old Julian Jones.

Daniel Adamek knows this heartbreak all too well.

He is the father of Sparkman High School student, Christian Adamek, who took his own life a year ago.

Daniel says awareness for mental health is improving, but it is still not where it needs to be.

"The conversation has been growing and there is much more attention than there was just a year ago and that's good, but there's still not enough."

Adamek says his own son suffered a months-long battle with depression and mental health difficulties before his death.

He notes, though, that depression is not always the cause of suicide.

He founded the non-profit organization Little Orange Fish to help foster the community's understanding of mental health.

Through a partnership with Wellstone Behavioral Health, Little Orange Fish offers mental health first aid classes geared toward adults and youths.

The courses teach you how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and Adamek says they would be extremely beneficial to coaches, teachers and youth ministers.

"These are the people in our community that have more time with our children than we parents do. They're the ones that have the greatest opportunity to recognize when there's trouble."

As for the grieving Hazel Green community, Adamek offers this guidance, "just give the family all the support that they can, that's all there is that can be done."

If you, or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please reach out to Crisis Services of North Alabama at 1-800-691-8426.

1 Comment

  • mamac

    I am so sorry, I don’t understand this. I really don’t.. I wish that kids, people who goes through this some how some way gets help..

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