Teen’s Cloth­ing Line Fights Sui­cide

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Ari­anne Brown for Serve Daily

In Novem­ber of this year, a fa­ther and son from Springville launched a cloth­ing line aimed at chang­ing the con­ver­sa­tion about sui­cide. The shirts show­case a sim­ple black and white color scheme and fea­ture words like, “stigma,” “war­rior,” “live,” “feel­ing,” “kind” and “fam­ily.” In place of the “i” in each of these words, how­ever, is a semi­colon rep­re­sent­ing what has now be­come a univer­sal sign to pause in an ef­fort to help re­duce the in­ci­dents of sui­cide world­wide. On the back of the shirts is the num­ber for the Sui­cide Hot­line.

In re­cent years, sui­cide has risen to be­come one of the lead­ing causes of death in kids, teens and adults. In fact, ac­cord­ing to Utah.gov, in 2017, sui­cide was the lead­ing cause of death for Utahns ages 10 to 17 and ages 18 to 24. It also ranked as the sec­ond-lead­ing cause for ages 25 to 44 and was the fourth-lead­ing for ages 45-64

But death by sui­cide doesn’t show the whole pic­ture. Ac­cord­ing to the same sta­tis­tics, more in­di­vid­u­als are hos­pi­tal­ized or treated in an emer­gency room for sui­cide at­tempts than those who are fa­tally in­jured. The re­port also found that 33 per­cent of teens re­ported feel­ing sad or hope­less; 21 per­cent con­sid­ered at­tempt­ing sui­cide; 17 per­cent made a sui­cide plan; 9 per­cent at­tempted sui­cide one or more times; and 4 per­cent had suf­fered the af­ter-ef­fects of an at­tempt that needed to be treated med­i­cally.

Kaden and Jorge Gar­cia know these sta­tis­tics all too well. Kaden, who is 17-years old now, ex­pe­ri­enced the loss of his child­hood friend, Alex, when he was just 13. And then at the end of last year, when Kaden was a sopho­more, Springville high school lost a fe­male stu­dent right be­fore grad­u­a­tion.

“The school’s re­source of­fi­cer made a huge im­pact on me and my class­mates when she shared her ex­pe­ri­ences hav­ing to do with teens in our com­mu­nity,” Kaden said. “I re­mem­ber feel­ing like some­thing else needed to be done to change all this.”

It was around the same time, in 2017, when Jorge Gar­cia was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some of his own thoughts of sui­cide as a re­sult of suf­fer­ing a heart at­tack a year ear­lier.

“In the win­ter of 2017, I was deal­ing with ma­jor de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety and a bout of med­i­ca­tion-in­duced sui­ci­dal thoughts that lasted for about six weeks,” Jorge Gar­cia said. “Kaden who is the old­est and a nat­u­ral em­path like his mother felt the brunt of it.”

Cou­pled with these life-chang­ing events, Kaden and Jorge Gar­cia knew that they needed to do some­thing to help oth­ers who were suf­fer­ing. To­gether, they de­cided to cre­ate the cloth­ing line.  that is ti­tled, “Your Tribe Cloth­ing,” (a name given by / Kaden’s mother and Jorge’s wife, Holly Gar­cia) to rep­re­sent com­radery and em­pa­thy among peo­ple suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion and sui­ci­dal thoughts.

“We wanted to give kids the op­por­tu­nity to wear a shirt with a word that would res­onate with them —  a word that they could iden­tify with, per­haps a word of some­thing that gives them strength or courage,” Kaden said. “We put to­gether a list of pos­i­tive and ac­tion words and we went to work on putting to­gether the brand. Mom con­trib­uted the name, “Your Tribe Cloth­ing,” and it just felt right.”

Since the brand has launched, many teens and adults have taken note, wear­ing the shirts proudly. One teen posted on the brand’s In­sta­gram ac­count writ­ing, “One year ago to­day, I was ad­mit­ted to the psy­chi­atric hospi­tal for sui­ci­dal thoughts and de­pres­sion. I used to be ashamed of my men­tal chal­lenges, but my road to re­cov­ery has taught me more than any­thing that I have noth­ing to be ashamed of. I am grate­ful for all of the tri­als I have shaped me into the per­son I am to­day. … A year ago I couldn’t have imag­ined how much hap­pi­ness life could bring.”

While many in­di­vid­u­als have em­braced the move­ment, so have stu­dent bod­ies from var­i­ous schools in the area. Ear­lier this month, stu­dents and fac­ulty at Springville high school or­dered 100 items, and as a re­sult, earned a free sui­cide pre­ven­tion train­ing from the QPR In­sti­tute in Span­ish Fork whose mis­sion is to ed­u­cate on and pre­vent sui­cide. This is some­thing Your Tribe Cloth­ing is of­fer­ing to all schools.

“We want to fa­cil­i­tate Sui­cide Aware­ness train­ing into schools,” Kaden said. “Teach­ers, stu­dents and par­ents need to be­come more aware of the signs and need to talk openly about Sui­cide. Half of all the pro­ceeds will go right back to bring MAGLEBY’S ing aware­ness into our com­mu­nity. We have to con­tinue this move­ment, and our goal is that ev­ery teen should feel seen.”

To pur­chase Your Tribe Cloth­ing Ap­parel, go to http://wasatchrun.zib­bet.com/ shop. To get up­dates, sup­port and even to share your own story, find your­tribecloth­ing on In­sta­gram (in­sta­gram.com/your­tribecloth­ing/).

Kaden and Jorge Gar­cia

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