Suicide Awareness Month: Secret Sadness and How to Help


Want to learn more about mental health? Attend the Family Mental Health Fair at Midtown Elementary School from 5:00-7:00pm on September 19. This event features an interactive expo with hands-on activities for students and adults to support mental wellness provided by The Enrichment Center. Come by anytime from 5-7 and get information from professionals at community agencies including the Mental Health Center, Military Child Coalition, The Caring House, Autism Network, National Children’s Advocacy Center, and more.

Lizzie Owens, Writer

Suicide and suicidal ideation and its affect on our student population has not disappeared. This is a different type of article due to the fact that I am not inclined or willing to share the names of the students who responded to my survey about suicide. I am not willing to share their names mainly because most of the information I received during this survey was extremely personal.

In summary, 37% of students that took my Suicide Awareness Month survey have had suicidal ideation or attempted to take their own life, some since ages as young as eight, and 59% of students have known someone who has committed suicide or attempted. One of these students reported feeling alone and essentially so bored that they begin to fantasize about suicide. One survey respondent stated that they felt as if they could not deal with pressure, which caused their ideas of suicide. 

Children and young adults should not be even thinking about choosing to end their lives, as their lives have barely even begun. Exposure to suicide is nearly unavoidable in this day in age due to the steadily rising mental health crisis. Even when people try to get help, they may feel struck down or simply ignored by the people they are depending on for help. So, is there anything we can do? 

Coming from our students themselves, there are multiple ways you can respond to someone who is in crisis. The easiest thing to do is to find a trusted adult and inform them of the situation. In the meantime, while you are getting a trusted adult for your friend, you can listen to what they have to say. Do not treat them harshly or dismissively; remember that they are in crisis. If possible, recommend them to a suicide hotline. Remember, it is better to get help and not need it, than to not get help and regret it.