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Raising awareness for suicide prevention

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In March of 2017, the Netflix original “13 Reasons Why” was released and now has everyone glued to their tv’s.

For those who are not aware, the 13 episode series is about a girl named Hannah Baker, after being bullied and sexualized in school, make the decision to end her life. It is then up to her friend, Clay, to figure out the reason(s) why.

After Hannah’s death, her classmates began to hang posters about suicide prevention and becoming more aware.

However, the problem is, these efforts should be being made regardless of a recent suicide or not. Teen suicide prevention and awareness is more important than it is made out to be.

While posters and dedicated days to suicide awareness, such as September 10, are essential efforts, there are a few other ways to reach out to and discourage someone wanting to end their life.

A shoulder to lean or cry on is always comforting. Let your friends, family, and those around you know that you are always there for them.

“Being alone or feeling like no one care, can make a difficult situation harder. Knowing that someone is there to talk to always helps and prevents dangerous thoughts and actions from taking control,” says Anna Stewart, senior.

Do not be afraid to speak up if you or someone you know is going through a rough time and/or is dealing with life ending thoughts. It is important to seek help for that person, or yourself, even if it is difficult.

“When someone dealing with suicide seeks or is given help, they can learn helpful, and possibly lifesaving, ways to manage or cope with what is driving the thoughts of suicide,” said Fedey Martinez, senior.

Analyze your actions and behavior and become more conscious of how you treat and talk to others. Big or small, everyone is facing their own unique struggles. Fill your heart with more empathy for those around you and think about how your words and actions may be affecting them.

“I believe the saying “think before you speak” is really fitting with talking about paying more attention to your actions. Words do hurt, and can make things so much worse,” said Stewart.

Lastly, raise awareness beyond recognized days and small posters. Reach out through social media and possibly create a page or forum where stories can be shared or a hashtag. Possibly talk to your school about creating a club or safe space where those who are struggling can come together and help one another.

“A great way to raise awareness year round, is to continuously hang and update posters or pass out buttons and bands with slogans and messages,” explained Martinez.

Teen suicide is more common than many individuals think and isn’t brought into the light except maybe a few times a year. Prevention efforts are made, but more awareness and prevention can be encouraged such as the release of “13 Reasons Why” and following these suggestions.

Everyone is struggling in some shape or form, so always be kind.

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The student news site of Summerville High School.
Raising awareness for suicide prevention