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    Maddie Yates, a 16-year-old student at Male High School, posted a 3-minute video to YouTube on Monday night, titled “Important” moments before she took her own life.

    Officials at Jefferson County Public schools culled district network access to Twitter and YouTube on Tuesday in an attempt to stop the spread of the video until Male students could be properly informed.

    Mandy Simpson, a JCPS spokeswoman, said in a statement to the Courier-Journal Tuesday, “We temporarily removed access to Twitter and YouTube this morning. This was an effort to ensure that students who are emotionally impacted could get the help they needed as we worked with officials to address the situation through the most appropriate and efficient channels."

    Although JCPS shutdown students’ access to the video through school computers, students were able to access the video through private service. The Youtube video was viewed 10,000 times before YouTube took it down, around 4:30 p.m. (sourceBuzzfeed, a website famous for popular and viral content, posted a story about  Maddie Yates’ suicide at 5:18 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2014. The article is currently the eighth most-read article on Buzzfeed.

    Maddie Yates was planning to participate in a fundraising walk to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention in memory of a friend who also committed suicide nearly a year ago.  Louisville Male High School brought in 20 grief counselors in addition to the Male counseling professionals.

    Seven Counties Services said that Kentucky ranks second in the nation in teenage suicide rates.  Seven Counties, which provided behavioral health and developmental services across the Louisville area, supports a 24-hour child crisis hotline at (502) 589-8070.  Also, Seven Counties’ 24-hour Hope Now Hotline is available at (502) 589-4313.

    The National Association of School Psychologists ranked suicide as the third leading cause of death in youth between 10 and 19 years old.  Louisville Parents are encouraged to have a conversation about suicide and suicide prevention with their children.  For resources on how to talk to your children, click here.

    Resources for Suicide Prevention include:

    The National Suicide Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  Trained counselors provide free, confidential support 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

    For information on suicide prevention from JCPS, click here.

    For information on suicide and suicide prevention from the National Institute of Mental Health, click here.

    To contact the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group, email kentuckysuicideprevention.org.

    The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.  The Trevor Lifeline at 866-488-7386 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Or text the word “Trevor” to 1-202-304-1200 to talk with a trained volunteer counselor.

    For other media outlets reporting on suicide and suicide prevention, click here for an explanation of why journalists think it’s important to report with sensitivity and thoughtfulness.

    Louisville.com sends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Yates and Louisville Male High School.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you through this time.  

    Photo courtesy of facebook.com/maddie.yates2

    Caitlyn Crenshaw's picture

    About Caitlyn Crenshaw

    Lover of sweet tea and books.

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