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Unique 17-part series supports families, communities, educators during Suicide Prevention Month

Posted 02 Sep 2020

Arkansas PBS offers essential series, online resources as pandemic continues

CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — To support families, educators and communities during Suicide Prevention Month this September, Arkansas PBS has made available a video series and resources featuring Shawna Burns, licensed professional counselor and founder of Seed Digging Wellness Center in Harrison, Arkansas. Burn’s innovative 17-part series can be viewed at

Several months of navigating through a new world with COVID-19 have left both adults and children feeling confused, overwhelmed, sad and anxious. In a series of digital shorts, Burns will share ways to manage hard times in life, overcome anxiety and learn to let the mind rest.

“Suicide Prevention – Looking Deeper” was originally created for educators by ArkansasIDEAS, a partnership between the Arkansas Department of Education and Arkansas PBS for teacher professional development, and is available as a public resource for the first time. Since its launch in June 2019, nearly 20,000 Arkansas educators have completed the course, calling it excellent and something anyone who deals with children should watch.

“Just as humans have physical needs that must be met for survival – such as food, water and oxygen – the human mind must have seven innate needs met in order to survive, as well,” Burns said. “When a person does not get these needs met to the point of helplessness, some really unhealthy behaviors can occur, such as hurting oneself or others.”

According to the Jason Foundation, four out of five teens display warning signs before they attempt suicide. In most cases, however, the seeds of trauma that brought them to that place were planted much earlier. In this 17-part digital series, broken down by topic, Burns shares personal stories and case studies that show the connections between those seeds, student behaviors, and the innate needs within all people. Burns discusses the importance of recognizing suicide warning signs, being aware of risk factors and having a plan for prevention.

This information is helpful to parents, and it also includes classroom strategies for creating a safe and secure environment for students that speaks to the innate needs that are so often at the root of suicide.

Additional information and support resources, including a series of digital shorts, are available at A free set of resources is available, while supplies last, by emailing us. “Suicide Prevention – Looking Deeper” is available as a free professional development course for Arkansas educators at Anyone in crisis should call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Shawna Burns, LPC-S, LADAC-CS, SDP-S is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor-Clinical Supervisor. She has counseled children and adults for the past 15 years and has created Seed Digging, a counseling approach that has helped hundreds of children and adults completely overcome mental health disorders and addictions. Burns has written 4 books, mini curriculums, and has created live and online training programs, including the Seed Digging Trauma-Informed School-Based Health Model. She has trained in numerous school districts, mental health agencies, colleges, and at state and national conferences. One of her greatest desires is that children (and adults) will discover their amazing value and worth so that they can live a life full of joy and love.

Arkansas PBS is Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. Arkansas PBS delivers daily, essential, local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through multiple digital platforms, including on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).