BRMC partners with Viola High School for art contest

Photo: Project Semicolon art contest winners with Viola High School art teacher Sharmin Jennings.

Baxter Regional Behavioral Health sponsors an annual Project Semicolon Suicide Prevention and Awareness Art Contest, and although it could not be held at the hospital this year, it was a smaller-scale competition in partnership with the Viola High School Art Department. Students were given the opportunity to compete for prizes from Baxter Regional, with their submissions based on suicide awareness.

Sayde Waltrip, a sophomore at Viola High School, won first place and was presented with a $50 gift card.

Katelyn Perryman, a junior, was the $25 second-place winner.

Kaylee Koons, a senior, was the $15 third-place winner.

Koons’ piece focused not only on the Project Semicolon, but also I’ve Got Your 6 (IGY6), an organization bringing awareness to the high rate of suicide among current and former military.

In mid-September, Jodi Leeker, LCSW, Baxter Regional Behavioral Health program director, spoke to students at Viola High School about the importance of talking to someone and breaking the stigma of suicide and self-harm.

“I plan to continue this project every year, until adults and students are no longer afraid to ask for help. Suicide is something that has affected our lives, and anything I can do to bring awareness to the problem, I will do,” says Sharmin Jennings, art teacher at Viola High School.

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