99 Visual Reminders of Suicide in Idaho

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There are many ways to try to get Idahoans' attention when talking about suicide. There are the facts:

According to the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho:
- In 2007 Idaho had the 11th highest suicide rate in the nation, 28 percent higher than the national average.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults in Idaho.
- In 2000, the suicides of those under 25 years of age in Idaho resulted in estimated direct costs of $3.77 million and lost earnings of $81 million.

But today a group of students on the campus of Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston is trying something different: They're putting up 99 life-size human silhouettes cut from stark white cardboard across their campus. They're hoping the silhouettes will start discussions about what they call, "one of the most taboo subjects in American culture."

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"Nearby Nez Perce County has one of the highest rates of death by suicide in Idaho," Douglas Cruthirds, an LCSC student, told Citydesk. "The community losses affect the students."

Cruthirds is a member of the LCSC Active Minds Club. The national organization sends hundreds of backpacks that belonged to students who killed themselves to campuses around the country. Cruthirds said there's a long waiting list for the backpacks, and they generally go to larger campuses, so LCSC students created their own campaign, substituting the silhouettes for backpacks.

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