Suicide awareness presentation reveals mental health truths

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Suicide awareness presentation reveals mental health truths

Courtesy of Patrick Air Force Base

Courtesy of Patrick Air Force Base

Courtesy of Patrick Air Force Base

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Students file into the auditorium at lunch, laughing and chatting with their friends. Mental Health Awareness Club members try to keep a little bit of order in this chaos. The speaker prepares his presentation to go up. The speaker starts talking and a hush falls over the room. They absorb the information about suicide awareness.

The idea for a Suicide Awareness presentation, according to Social Worker Lara Hulin, came about during meeting about holding presentations.

“In the Mental Health Awareness club, we were talking about holding presentations for mental health and that was one that came up.” Hulin said. “We had this particular speaker here last year and it was a very small group. He was so good that we decided that we wanted to have him here for a large group.”

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S among teens. Senior and President of the Mental Health Awareness Club Ethan Glass feels a personal connection with mental health and suicide.

“I founded the Mental Health Awareness Club because a lot of my friends and I have had personal issues with mental health.”, Glass said. “A lot of what I am doing is doing something I wish someone had done for me. A lot of my friends, here and at other schools, have had instances of being suicidal or have made suicide attempts. Through supporting them, I’ve learned the importance of things like this.”

Often, mental health is ignored in our society due to cultural taboos. Glass believes this due to physical health’s immediateness.

“You can see a broken arm, but you can’t see depressed serotonin receptors in the brain.”, Glass said. “Something that I hate is that from an early age, we are taught that “Stick and stones will break our bones but words will never hurt us”. I think it’s awful because the idea that something is all in your head that it’s not real or that it’s not important. It’s a very real issue that has physiological components and people don’t take it seriously. Showing emotion has always been a sign of weakness and people are afraid of being vulnerable.”

Normally at voluntary events like this, turnout is depressingly low. Junior Thy Tran is grateful for the high turnout.

“Honestly, turnout was great.”, Tran said. “Two of the three sections were completely full. We didn’t think anybody was going to come because of a scheduling conflict with Debate. We tried to get teachers to give extra credit but we still did not think a lot of people would come. We were very pleasantly surprised.”

If you currently in crisis or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone and you can get the help you need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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