Suicide remains a serious problem in today’s world with nearly 42,000 American citizens dying each year from suicide. Senior Andy Amick looked to remedy and help lower the number of the tenth leading cause of death in America through work on his senior capstone project.
Amick, a public health major, started his senior capstone project just this year after returning home from a year abroad in Australia. Amick said he was interested in researching and looking into suicide prevention after listening to a news segment on the topic of suicide on National Public Radio.
For the first part of his senior capstone project, Amick was required to take part in a 100 hour practicum, which gives seniors a chance to apply their learning to the real world.
Amick decided for his practicum to work with the Public Health Suicide Prevention Team in Washington County, Oregon.
“I worked with the suicide prevention team and researched the different causes of and statistics surrounding suicide,” said Amick on his practicum work. “I learned how pervasive of a problem suicide really is here in America.”
While working with the suicide prevention team, Amick was tasked with doing outreach to a number of businesses, schools, and hospitals and even created a strategy tracker for the Suicide Prevention Council of Washington County which helped to identify at risk groups and also keep track of the number of training sessions and lessons attended by different stakeholders.
“I did some outreach to groups that were identified as at risk groups for the county, which were mostly members from the LGTBQ community and also veterans,” said Amick. “I reached out to people associated and involved in those groups and invited them to come and be a part of the council.”
For the second part of his senior capstone project, Amick researched the Career Youth Community Center, which is a place for youth to come together in a safe space and explore and create opportunities for kids to build peer leadership.
He explained how peer isolation is a major risk factor for suicide in the youth population and that the goal of the CYCC is to create a connectedness and sense of togetherness amongst the kids.
The data compiled his research and findings from the work on his senior capstone project onto a poster board and Amick will present his finding along with other public health majors on Senior Projects Day.
Amick is pleased with his senior capstone experience and admired the real world experience the project offered. He hopes to go into University Advancement for Pacific after college.