Local Screening Addresses Suicide Prevention

Sebastian Fojut, Staff Writer

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A suicide prevention presentation consisting of several short films was offered at the Rheem Theater on March 25. The evening screening was followed by a panel discussion among representatives from the Change organization which hosted the event.

The presentation tackled the societal impact of suicide, and the attending students were told to be much more aware of those around them. “Someone you love could be considering suicide, and they won’t tell anyone because they are too scared,” said sophomore Emerson Hogan. “There is such a stigma around mental health, so it is really easy to overlook someone who is only pretending to be happy.”

Students also learned that suicidal thoughts may not manifest themselves as sadness, but rather detachment, and at risk students may not even be aware that they are depressed; the panel instructed attendees to look out for friends becoming distant, acting out, and feeling unusually angry along with other symptoms.

Awareness is still only the 1st step in a long process of destigmatizing mental health, however. “In some cultures, mental health issues are not taken seriously. It might just be chalked up to being a lazy person, and many people can’t get the help they need,” said Hogan.

“It is really important that people, especially students, are educated on the signs of suicide,” said sophomore Emma Torres.

Campolindo is currently addressing issues of student stress and depression “with the addition of the wellness center and HSD [Human Social Development] in the past few years,” said HSD teacher Erin Cody.

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