Break the Silence

  • Break the Silence is an initiative started at Piedmont High School to address the social and emotional needs of our students.  Suicide and suicide attempts are serious public health problems that transcend gender, ethnicities and area codes. Often, teen find themselves struggling with feelings of depression and anxiety because of pervasive stigmas and misconceptions attached to mental health issues.    

    From 2006-2015, North Carolina residents ages 10 to 14 died as a result of violence. Of these violent deaths, 47% were suicide.  Overall, the most common method of suicide among youth was firearms at 54%, followed by hanging/strangulation/suffocation 34%, and poisoning 6%.   

    UCPS has 43,000 students and according to the statistics, 1 out of 5 students will consider suicide, which means that 2,843 of UCPS students in the next 12 months will consider it! 

    Based on statistics for a school that has 1,000 students:

    • 158 students will seriously consider suicide
    • 128 students will create a plan for suicide
    • 78 students will actually attempt suicide
    • 24 students will make an attempt that requires treatment by a doctor or nurse

    Piedmont has four school counselors who can meet with students in the Counseling Office to discuss any of the issues above.  Our counselors are Leslie Helms, Sarah Mitchell, Joanna Ellis, and Stacey Butera. In addition, there are other UCPS staff resources who can assist students with social/emotional needs. 

    The following online resources are also available to students: 

  • The Break the Silence Club regularly meets and is open to all students.  Each meeting is an open forum with teachers and a school counselor present.  Students should pay attention to the announcements for meeting dates and times.