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Safe Space

Safe Space

Group aims to help troubled youth

March 14th, 2013 in News

To Sherry Abbott, one death by suicide is one too many.

With a number of area young people having taken their lives over the past several years, Abbott and several other concerned Callaway County residents have banded together to create a space where struggling teens can turn for help.

The executive board of the newly-created Safe Spaces, a non-profit organization for the prevention of teen suicide, had its first meeting Tuesday afternoon, and members said they hope to start making a difference soon.

"(Suicide) has affected my family and the whole community," Abbott, president of the Safe Spaces board, said of the decision to take action. "To me, one (suicide) is too many, and we just keep saying we don't have a problem, and I felt like we had a problem after the first year.

"I see a need with the kids that are asking for some kind of program to go to. We have a real need here in our community."

Like Abbott, vice president Emily Carroll, who also is the pastor at Court Street United Methodist, said her interest in Safe Spaces stems from a personal connection to suicide, as well as a desire to serve her community.

"I think part of a church's job is to be in the community. I had been here a whole three months when I got a call about a teen suicide, so I knew right off the bat we had a problem here," Carroll said. "My goal is just making sure young people have a safe place to go if they need to talk, and trusted adults they can turn to."