A new Netflix series called, ’13 Reasons Why’ became an internet sensation this past month. ’13 Reasons Why’ is about a young teenage girl, Hannah Baker, who committed suicide. She left behind 13 tapes for all the 13 people who caused her depression. One by one, each high schooler listened to why Hannah Baker is dead because of them and the others. The show, based off a book by Jay Asher, was created to bring awareness to teen suicide and bullying, and it shows how your own actions/words can affect other people. While watching the show, I often wondered, how many people in our own school are showing signs of suicide that we are all missing? What is our school doing to help?
The most important thing is to help those who are already on the verge of suicide. Looking out for the signs of a suicidal person can be the first step in helping to save a life.
Here are the common signs of suicidal ideation: (according to the Valley Behavioral Health System)
- Giving away prized possessions
- Talking about death/dying
- Using phrases such as, “When I’m gone…”
- Increasing drug/alcohol use
- Decreased social contact
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Sudden changes in mood
- Loss of interest
- Taking extreme risks (Driving fast, running red lights.. etc.)
If you know of any one who you think is going to hurt themselves, there are steps you can take to help them. Click here for more details about things you can do to help from ‘Help Guide’.
Step 1. Be yourself and TALK. Talk to the person and show them that you care. Take the person seriously and give them hope.
Step 2. Quickly RESPOND to the situation. Never leave a suicidal person alone. Remove all sharp objects, pills, etc.
Step 3. Offer SUPPORT. There are many professionals and group therapies that can help the person. Always keep in touch and encourage positive lifestyles.
Another way to prevent suicide, is to stop the bullying from the start. Our school is taking strides to help by recently added a new feature to the official website.
With this easy access and the anonymous factor, hopefully more students will feel comfortable standing up for whats right. Remember: Talk, Respond, Support and stop bullying in its tracks. Any student has the power to save a life one way or another.