Renewable energy company Drax has donated $2,000 to the Children’s Coalition of Northeast Louisiana to extend their suicide prevention program for another school year.
Now in its seventeenth year, the Coalition’s Signs of Suicide (SOS) program works in middle schools in the Monroe City and Ouachita Parish school systems. Last year, the program reached eight schools including 4,000 students and faculty.
Jan Daniels, the youth development coordinator for the Children’s Coalition, said: “One out of every five teens in America suffers from emotional problems, and most never get help. Depression, anxiety, substance abuse and even suicidal tendencies are all common problems in our area. We want to make sure that our young people are not only physically healthy but mentally healthy—because healthy children are better prepared to learn.”
The SOS program educates faculty and students how to recognize the signs of depression and suicide in themselves and others, as well as how to react to certain situations and behaviors. The program provides screening by licensed counsellors for the students for any type of issue or risk. Students’ parents are notified and referred to professional help if any signs are shown.
Matt White, Executive Vice President of Drax’s Pellet Operations in North America, said: “Drax is committed to supporting programs that focus on the wellbeing of young people in our communities. So we’re very pleased to be helping extend this important initiative which aims to increase knowledge about depression and suicide so that more teenagers seek help when they need it and develop positive attitudes toward mental health issues.”
According to the CDC, there was a 22.3 percent spike in trips to Emergency Rooms in hospitals for potential suicides by children aged 12 to 17 in the summer of 2020 compared to the previous year.
Drax is committed to supporting the communities local to its operations and is this year drawing up plans for a more targeted community spend.
In 2021, Drax supported education and skills in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama and provided donations to help communities hit by natural disasters and Covid and work to support sustainable forestry.
If you are having difficult thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Picture caption: Matt White, Executive Vice President of Drax’s Pellet Operations in North America
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- Through its operations in Louisiana and Mississippi, Drax supports more than 1,200 jobs and contributes $175m to the region’s economy.
- This includes more than 1,200 jobs in Louisiana and Mississippi with 300 direct jobs across these two states in Drax’s three pellet mills and at the port of Greater Baton Rouge.
- Drax’s pellet mills also support the wider supply chain of loggers, truckers, railway workers, port workers and other logistics professionals.
Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.
Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com
Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.
Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.
Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.
The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4Mt of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.
Pellet production and supply:
The Group has 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate capacity of 4.6Mt, which will increase to c.5Mt once developments are complete.
Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.
Drax’s pellet mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.
Drax is the largest supplier of renewable electricity to UK businesses, supplying 100% renewable electricity as standard to more than 370,000 sites through Drax and Opus Energy.
It offers a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.
To find out more go to the website www.energy.drax.com