Over the weekend the Prairie community lost one of our own. This loss has impacted everyone at Prairie in one way or another. It’s also brought mental health awareness and suicide prevention to light.
On Thursday the student body and staff were invited to wear yellow to support mental health awareness. Donations for Foundation 2 are accepted in the school store and donation buckets will be passed around at the football game tonight.
Suicide prevention is also to be thought about at this time, and throughout life. Whether you or someone else are depressed and contemplating suicide, there are warning signs and ways to prevent it. Being a teenager is a very difficult time for many, filled with stress, pressure, self-esteem issues, familial, friendship, and/or relationship problems and more complications.
Those factors can be too much to deal with, and other factors like depression and mental illness don’t help. Warning signs of suicidal thoughts can be things like talking about suicide, expressions of self-loathing, excessive thoughts about death, withdrawing from friends and family, giving away possessions, or even saying goodbye. If you notice someone displaying any of these signs, try to help.
Ways of helping someone who is suicidal are being open and talking to them about it, listening, being sympathetic and offer support and hope. By doing so you could help that person immensely, just by being there. Also remember to never leave them alone and let an adult know, so that they can get help.
If you are feeling depressed or are having thoughts of suicide, talk to someone, don’t shut yourself away. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 and is available 24 hours a day.
Dealing with the aftermath of a suicide can be an incredibly hard time. The grief can feel never-ending. Grieving after such a tragic event can be filled with thoughts of guilt or failure in preventing it, feelings of self-blame, a need to know why and understand. Remember that it is not your fault.
Prairie had grief counselors in the study hall rooms on Monday and Tuesday to help students cope with the loss. The staff understands that this will be a devastating time for many students and it may be difficult to focus on school or some may throw themselves into work. In Mr. Anderson’s announcement on Monday, he made sure to let students know that the school is here for them, saying, “No matter your response, we are here for you and we care about you.”
This is a dark time for our school. The best way to stay strong is to support one another through this. As Mr. Anderson said, “We are better together.” Keep that in mind.
Photo Credit: http://www.spcoalitionyv.org/