Last Wednesday every student at L’Anse Creuse High School North (nearly 2,000 in all) learned about the facts, myths, and warning signs of suicide – and they learned about them through their peers.
This effort was the result of collaboration between between myself, school social worker Kim Criner, student leadership adviser Rosa Hough, the student leadership class and LCN National Honor Society students.
Kim and I came up with a plan and a packet for the students who volunteered to facilitate the discussions. The packets included a handout highlighting the warning signs of suicidal behavior, how to help a friend, and a quiz that addressed some facts and myths surrounding suicide. The student volunteers were then trained on how to lead the discussion in a classroom.
During the classroom discussions, every student in the school watched a short video which was produced by the leadership students (you can watch the video below), and discussed warning signs, facts and myths relating to suicide.
The goal of these peer-led discussions was to raise awareness and start a school-wide conversation about the fundamentals of suicide prevention. In one morning (after a considerable amount of preparation and planning), this goal was accomplished, and it was carried out entirely by the students!
I would like to thank Kim and Rosa for their dedication to the students and passion for raising awareness about suicide prevention, Dr. Dixon and the LCN administration for their support, Brian Manninen for helping the leadership students with the video, and all of the LCN leadership and NHS students who volunteered to help lead these discussions and for helping us reach nearly 2,000 students in a single morning!
L’Anse Creuse High School North will be hosting their 3rd annual Youth Empowers Awareness 5k walk for suicide prevention on Saturday, May 5th at 2:00pm. Please join us to raise awareness and support for our efforts! For more information, and to register online, please click HERE.