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A bench for sitting and saving

10 Tampa Bay and the TEGNA Foundation sponsor suicide prevention bench

PALM HARBOR, Fla — A bell rings at Carwise Middle School and hundreds of sneakers stream through the courtyard. And as students scurry to their next class, some might just notice something new.

It’s a bright-yellow bench emblazoned with a life-saving message: the new national Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number—988.

“It’s nice to have in a school, said 13-year-old Alina Collins. “Just to remind people that if they do need help, they can get it somewhere.”

10 Tampa Bay and our parent company TEGNA’s foundation are working with the not-for-profit Josh’s Benches to place several suicide awareness benches in the area. The first is at Carwise and in coming weeks, benches will also be places at Northeast High, St. Petersburg High, and USF.

Clara Reynolds from the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay would like to see even more benches like it. “Absolutely, a number on a bench can save a life,” she said.

Lisa Pizarro-Yob, a suicide survivor agrees. “I think they will absolutely save many lives,” said Pizarro-Yob. “When you’re in that state of mind and you feel so hopeless, you literally think to yourself, I need a sign. I need something---why should I go on.” And a friendly voice on the 988 line, may just be enough.

And Carwise students also say that for some kids, calling 988 and remaining anonymous, might be easier than talking in person to the school’s counselor.

Carwise has already lost a student to suicide, so Principal Chad Eiben says it’s never too early to talk with students about mental health. “If you hurt your arm, you go to the doctor to get help. If your mental health is hurting, you need to get help for that as well. It’s no different.

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Great Day Live is Tampa's only LIVE weekday lifestyle show celebrating all things Tampa Bay! For an hour each day, we show our audience all the great small businesses, nonprofits, sports teams, events, arts and entertainment the region has to offer! Watch Java and Janelle weekdays at 9 a.m. on 10 Tampa Bay.

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Java Ingram is a New Orleans native/ Texan and is excited to call Florida home! Prior to joining Great Day Live in 2019 as host, Java served as Host of a lifestyle-entertainment show in Birmingham, AL. She also woke up dark and early, weekday mornings to help drivers make it to their destinations safely as a traffic anchor.

Java started her on-air broadcast career in the birthplace of Elvis Presley, Tupelo, Mississippi. In Tupelo, she served as morning news anchor, producer and reporter.

Java is an award winning journalist, having been recognized by the Associated Press for best anchor, best reporter and best franchise reporting, just to name a few.

When she's not working, Java is very passionate about giving back to the community having served on the corporate boards for The Boys and Girls Club of North Mississippi, The Civic Ballet Company, The Doniphan Dance Project and the Leadership Council for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Alabama. She has also volunteered with a number of civic organizations.

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After graduating with a degree in telecommunications, Janelle worked in markets across the southeast. She has had just about every job in television news over the course of her more than 15+ year career. She anchored evening newscasts in Sarasota, Winston-Salem and Charlotte, NC and even helped people get around town as the morning traffic anchor right here in the Tampa Bay area. She’s covered big stories and small ones, rode out hurricanes and traveled on presidential campaigns. But by far, her favorite part of working in television is telling your stories. She’s thrilled to be able to do that every day on Great Day Live



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