Coming Together to Create Hope

High school students came together to participate in a two-day suicide prevention program for the freshman class. Organized by high school teachers Jaclyn Anci, Mary Hygom and Mary Mitchell, the annual program provides a comfortable and confidential forum for students to learn about the dangers of suicide and how to prevent it.

“Suicide is a heavy topic that can be very uncomfortable to discuss for students,” said Anci. “Our job is to provide an encouraging, safe and reliable environment for students to interact and communicate.”

Theater students performed six different skits they wrote that portrayed real-world scenarios regarding suicide. The actors concluded each act with explanations of the correct and incorrect ways to handle the situations presented. Following the performances, students broke into groups, led by volunteers from the Natural Helpers club, to continue discussions. Team leaders reviewed with their groups the warning signs of someone contemplating committing suicide, the various support outlets, and the importance of confiding in a trusted adult.

“When I was asked to take part in this assembly, I said yes without hesitation,” said senior Laura Logan. “I realize how important it is for young teenagers to know how to handle situations as complex and serious as suicide, and I wanted to help give them the tools they need to do so. It's important for them to know that they have the power and potential to save someone's life, even their own. I want everyone to recognize that they matter, they are not alone, and that there is always someone they can turn to when they need help.”