My nephew and his friend Alaina asked me to post this for them. They are working on a school project about something that, in Alaina’s words, “a lot of people don’t like to talk about very much because it’s a harsh topic. So we figured why not us, since we’re passionate about bringing awareness to it.”
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And I’m Peyton.
We’ve been working on a project together; we want to spread awareness about a serious problem.
We feel that this problem is something that gets over-looked by many as an unimportant, non-serious issue. There is no enthusiasm about suicide prevention or awareness of the symptoms. We definitely don’t hear about it at school. And the fact that we never hear about it proves to us that suicide is one of the lesser things that the school system cares about.
But suicide affects many people in so many different ways.
Last year, we came up with a plan; we wanted to host a walk to support suicide awareness. But unfortunately that didn’t work out. Although a couple of the adults in our school supported us wholeheartedly, it only took one person’s lack of support to make the whole project fall apart.
We emailed her, called her, wrote her letters… It supported how we feel about it, that no one cared. Or at least that people at the school don’t care. And that’s what we were trying to do, to get our school – and not just our school, but others in the community – to realize that this actually does happen. That person not responding was a slap in our face that made it seem like it was true, that nobody did care.
We both personally know many people who have been and continue to be changed by the effects of suicide or attempted suicide. Suicide is a real problem that needs more attention.
Recently one of our own friends tried to commit suicide. He over-dosed on pills, but thankfully he survived because his mother found him in time. We were told that she found him at the last possible moment he could have received help to stay alive.
It was a terrible experience for him to go through, but also for his family and friends. It was a horrible thing to have to watch him go through that without being able to help him.
We feel like people don’t realize the true effects of suicide until it happens to them. It affects much more than what it seems to on the surface. Suicide is bigger than one person. For every person that commits suicide, there are on average six people who are affected deeply by that suicide. All of that person’s family, all of his relatives, all of his friends that cared and loved him are now left with this.
And we’re positive each and every one of them feels that they could have done something.
We need help spreading the word. Talk about it more, don’t let it be such a shy subject.
Mentor someone. Learn what to look for and how to respond to cries for help.
Share this post. Spread the word.
Alaina and Peyton were also my guests on the podcast, talking about their suicide awareness project, why they took it on, what it means to them, and why they care so much. You can listen to that here.