Life Savers was formed as a response to the death of a Greenbrier High School student by suicide. This had a strong impact on the whole school community. Students and staff wanted to get involved to change the culture of Greenbrier to be more open about mental health, suicide awareness, and suicide prevention. Life Savers gives them a way to do just that.
Photo by Strain Photography
(Left to Right: Lindsey Griffin, Travis Barrentine, and Nikkina Porter. )
“We’ve learned through our work and research, open talk about suicide is one of the main ways to prevent it from happening,” states Travis Barrentine, GHS Principal. He sponsors the group along with assistant principals, Lindsey Griffin and Nikkina Porter. They say you can already see the change in students, especially those in the club, as they learn and work together more.
Students in Life Savers organized a run/walk to raise awareness of suicide, to gather the community, and to raise funds for the club. About 300 people from the community participated last year and students are working diligently on this year’s event. They have done other projects too, like pop up booths at ball games, posters, and a sticky note board where one can grab a post-it to write someone an uplifting note. One student came up with the idea of a Positive Morning Message that is now incorporated in GHS’s daily announcements.
A unique thing about this loving group is that they are able to offer Safe Talk Training to staff and students (age 15+). Mr. Barrentine went to a program in South Carolina to learn to be a Safe Talk Training Trainer so he could bring this vital information to the school community. Most of the students in Life Savers have completed a Safe Talk course. Students now understand things to look for and have already alerted staff when they thought someone might need help.
Mr. Barrentine reminds us as a community, “You have got to change that culture. You have got to address if someone is hurting or someone is struggling with mental health. We’ve got to begin to see that just like physical health,” he adds, “We need to be checking on people, checking on each other.” It is so important to put supports in place to help people. Life Savers is giving students a chance to make a positive difference in the world!
The Chamber is proud to award The Non-profit/Service Organization of the Year to this incredibly caring group of GHS students and staff that are making a difference in our community.
Join us to celebrate LifeSavers and our other award winners at the annual Greenbrier Chamber Banquet as we head "Off to the Races" April 7th at 6 PM at Legacy Acres.
The Greenbrier Chamber Banquet is proudly presented by: CONWAY REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM, FIRST SECURITY BANK, KAREN FERGUSON TEAM REMAX ELITE, WACO TITLE, FIRST ARKANSAS BANK & TRUST, FIRST SERVICE BANK, CENTENNIAL BANK, HOMEBANK, KONA ICE, ELITE CORE, POINT REMOVE BREWING, OTT INSURANCE, FIRST COMMUNITY BANK, SOUTHERN TRADITION FARM, PRECISION CONSTRUCTION, and INTEGRITY INSURANCE.