Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. As School Counsellors we need to talk about this very important topic. We need to break down the stigma, one conversation or one assembly at a time. Our students could be at risk. Sadly, sometimes we can miss the warning signs.
In our opening school retreat we address this issue directly and let all students know we are there to assist them to provide HOPE and support.
We let students know that even if they are not at risk he/she may need to help a friend. Evidence suggests that youth are more likely to talk to their peers about their thoughts of suicide so we need to reinforce in students that they cannot keep suicidal thoughts a secret. We would much rather they had an angry friend than a dead friend.
Later this month we have every grade ten student take a manditory suicide prevention workshop through Canada Mental Health.
Our HOPE is that all students will reach out and get the help and supports they need. Our young people are precious and we want to keep them to understand they have a purpose and are meant to be here.