PARMA, Idaho -- The Idaho Department of Education selected eight schools across the state to participate in the initial phase of the Idaho Lives Project.

The purpose of the project is to decrease the prevalence of suicide among middle and high school students.

Parma High and Parma Middle School were lucky enough to make the cut and be a part of this program that will hopefully save lives.

It's been nearly a decade since Parma High had a student commit suicide.

That's not that long ago when you're talking about a student's life. But what is a lot more common are suicidal thoughts and self-harming behaviors.

We have a great school and we have a great community, but we don't have a lot for mental health resources, said Cory Fortin, Parma High School Counselor.

That's why Fortin and her fellow counselor at Parma Middle School, Patricia Shishido applied for a grant to be a part of the Idaho Lives Project.

It's really about creating hope and creating strength, and helping students find their own strength and if they are having issues then knowing who they can go to, who they can talk to, said Shishido.

In all, eight schools across the state will receive extensive support, training services and cash to implement a peer to peer group called Sources of Strength.

Kids talk to kids and feel safer with that relationship, and so then I think if we have students that are trained on how to report and how to refer, I think it will make a difference, said Shishido.

There's been a big push in the past few years to get Idaho out of the top ten for teen suicides and overall suicides.

Fortin hopes this program helps.

Even if we can just help a few kids, we have done what wanted to do when getting this grant, said Fortin.

The schools who applied found out just Monday night if they were accepted.

In January the schools will start to figure out training schedules and who will be a part of the peer groups.

The program will then begin in March and go through the 2014-2015 school year.

The state received nearly $1.3 million over three years to implement the Idaho Lives Project.
Next school year 10 to14 more schools will be selected to begin to implement the peer to peer group.

If someone you know needs help one place to start is the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline. The number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For more resources on suicide prevention, click here or here.

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