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The mission of the West Orange Suicide Advocacy Coalition (WOSAC) is to gather and streamline public education, supportive services, training, and intervention resources related to suicides in the Township of West Orange.

Our work acknowledges that suicide is a public health issue.

Suicide does not have one single cause. Multiple factors, alone or in combination, including but not limited to substance abuse and untreated depression can increase the risk of suicide.


Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. 

(Centers for Disease Control, 2017).

In taking a public health approach, we recognize that various structures as well as a lack of access to these structures, influence our health and well-being including:

  • Schools and employment

  • Families

  • Interpersonal relationships

  • How the three branches of government, legislative (laws), executive (police and corrections) and judicial (court imposed sanctions) impact each of us differently

  • Spirituality and faith based institutions

  • Recreational opportunities

  • Internal conflicts between township cultures, race, ethnic and religious cultures



Additionally, research evidence finds that several bio-social health factors may also increase risk of self-inflicted harm and early life termination:

  • Physical health

  • Low serotonin

  • Mental health

  • Depression elevates suicide risk, but researchers argue that it is not the cause

  • Self-efficacy- control over one’s life

  • Self-esteem- perception of one’s self

Designed by Proggya Paromita

WOHS Class of 2019

National Statistics

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages (Centers for Disease Control, 2017).

  • Every day, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide (Centers for Disease Control, 2017).

  • There is one death by suicide in the US every 12 minutes (Centers for Disease Control, 2017).

  • Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year (Centers for Disease Control, 2017).

  • Suicide takes the lives of over 44,965 Americans every year (Centers for Disease Control, 2017).

  • The highest suicide rates in the US are among Whites, American Indians and Alaska Natives (Centers for Disease Control, 2017).

  • An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (American Association of Suicidology, 2018).

  • There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts (Centers for Disease Control, 2017).

  • There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly (Centers for Disease Control, 2017).

  • Based on the 2017 Youth Risk Behaviors Survey, 7.4 % of youth in grades 9-12 reported that they had made at least one suicide attempt in the past 12 months.

  • Female students attempted almost twice as often as male students (9.3% vs. 5.1%). Black students reported the highest rate of attempt (9.8%) with white students at 6.1 %.

  • Approximately 2.4 % of all students reported making a suicide attempt that required treatment by a doctor or nurse. For those requiring treatment, rates were highest for Black students (3.4%).  (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).

Meet Zach

Advocate and voice for human rights. Zach saw the goodness in many people, and had an opinion on many issues and stood steadfast in his beliefs. His strong moral compass could lead him to become argumentative, head strong and stubborn.


Zach was known for being the “Life of the Party.” His interests included running, boxing, mixed martial arts, video games, music, movies, science, mind exploration, expansion, travel and adventure. In his early twenties his career aspirations included modeling and acting. The camera loved Zach. The two women in Zach’s life were his Mom and his girlfriend of 4 ½ years. He loved them most and argued with them the most.


He and his girlfriend had dreams to marry, have children and build their future together. Zach was the last person you would think of that would abruptly, tragically, and violently end his

24-year young life that was filled with abounding potential.


Zach, a 2011 WOHS graduate, touched so many people then and now…and will be forever missed, loved and remembered for being an amazing young man. Like too many others gone too soon who struggled with a reason to hold on, we will RUN for ZACH to encourage others to ask for help and know that they are loved.

WOSAC Goals Are:

  1. Create materials (i.e., brochures) that aid schools, families, and police officers who respond to suicide calls and attempts.

  2. Increase access to resources (more support groups and information shared in the community).

  3. Support more public conversation (about risks and related suicide information).

  4. Increase support group attendance.

  5. Reduce suicide rate in and around West Orange (the current rate does not increase).

Upcoming Event
West Orange Run For Zach
Date: October 6, 2019 
Location: Rock Spring Country Club

Address: 90 Rock Spring Road

West Orange NJ   
Race Time: 4:00 PM

Click HERE to register online
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Thank you

to our

Inaugural Sponsors