WIESBADEN, Germany - They say preventing suicide is everyone's concern, and one Wiesbaden High School student was honored for his efforts to help promote that message.
Col. William C. Butcher, commander of the U.S. Army Garrison Baden-WAfA1/4rttemberg, Command Sgt. Maj. Annette Weber, USAG Baden-WAfA1/4rttemberg's senior noncommissioned officer, and Col. Jeffrey Dill, USAG Wiesbaden commander, visited Wiesbaden High School Sept. 29 to recognize Logan Mitchell, a high school senior, for his award-winning entry in the USAG-Baden WAfA1/4rttemberg's Shoulder-to-Shoulder Video Contest.
Mitchell won a two-night stay at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and received a certificate of appreciation.
"The way you captured the message was really powerful," said Butcher ... "pretty powerful for folks so young."
With the help of fellow students and school staff, Mitchell produced a 29-second video addressing the Army's "Shoulder to Shoulder" suicide prevention campaign during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September.
"The production was a team effort," said Mitchell, thanking everyone who contributed. "It took a lot of planning, and I thank my team for helping out with that."
Mitchell said students learned about the competition, which was open to schools in the Heidelberg District, through Wiesbaden High's video teacher, Joe Smith. After reading the project description, Mitchell said he was inspired by the image of people standing shoulder to shoulder to help prevent suicide.
"That's quite an image in itself. ... I wanted to make it seem real," he said, describing how he enlisted the support of fellow students to appear in the video standing shoulder to shoulder.
As the narrator describes such details as "more than 30,000 Americans commit suicide each year" and 30-50 percent more attempt suicide, the camera pans a long line of solemn-faced students arrayed across school grounds.
"It can happen to anyone," said Mitchell, pointing out that many people suffer from depression. "They could be standing next to you in line."
As he observed in the video - "If you're feeling depressed or know someone who is, help out. Stand shoulder to shoulder. I will never give up."
Looking forward to a future career in video production, Mitchell said the experience taught him a lot. "I learned that planning is necessary - planning and story boarding.
Having a back-up plan for when things don't quite work out as planned is also crucial, he said.
"I think it was really an awesome experience," he added.
The video may be aired on American Forces Network television sometime in the future, according to contest officials.