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New Suicidal Awareness program on campus

Alexis Mooksavanh and Juliana Alcala

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Bullard now has a Suicidal Awareness program hosted by Ms. Gomes and we’re all hoping it will actually help some of the students on campus. We are currently in the process of spreading the news so that families and friends can know about it. Here’s everything you need to know about this awareness.

 

This was inspired by the National Suicide Prevention Week that took place not too long ago. The department that Ms. Gomes works from is Department of Prevention and Intervention. It’s all about not only intervening with students who have different issues going on, but also trying to prevent it. She is trying to make it more visible to the students on campus so we know how to look for the signs because we see each other more than the adults do.

 

The warning signs can be changes in behavior. For example, if someone who is bubbly and laughing all the time becomes quiet all of a sudden, it can be a concern. Another one can be the opposite; if someone who is reserved and does not talk a lot suddenly becomes outgoing and happy, that can also be a sign. Basically anything that is out of the norm– giving out objects that are important to them are saying, “You know if anything happens to me you can keep my phone.” This is a warning sign because they are giving away their conception of theirs for the obvious reasons. Self-injury behavior can be a concern as well. Typically, kids who self-harm are not necessary suicidal, but it can escalate to that, which is something you want to keep tabs on.

 

This program started because Ms. Gomes knows that students with problems are afraid to speak out due to it being a low level of concern. They hold it in for awhile until it escalates and then it becomes a real issue. We’ve had a couple of suicides in the valley in the past couple of years, so she’s trying to bring awareness to the fact that it is not something you should be ashamed of talking about. Before it gets too serious, you should try to intervene.

 

There is tons of support on the Bullard campus! If you are worried about a friend, then the best thing to do is find an adult, any adult that you trust and can talk to them about it. First, you can always try to talk to the friend, but if you feel they are going to be resistant, then tell the adult right away! They can pull the student in, and they are also very good at maintaining confidentiality. So, if you are scared about your friend being upset with you, whoever pulled in the student will say, “Hey so we’ve kind of noticed something and we’re concerned about you,” instead of exposing your name to them. There are teachers on campus who are really good at notifying administrators, which are the VP’s, nurses and also the social-emotional support center in S54. If you feel like you don’t want to be in class for whatever reason and need to step out, you can always walk in there. There are so many adults on campus who can help just like Ms. Gomes herself, the school psychology,nd of course, your academic counselors!

 

We hope to have a big growing with this program in the next couple of years in the district. Other schools do actual school wide prevention like assemblies or have special guest speakers. Bullard is not too far from that, so we hope to do the same. Ms. Gomes actually has put up some posters around school and materials and mini flyers in the front office for parents to be introduced to this program. Suicidal thoughts are very common among teenagers so we hope to let others know it’s okay to inform someone about your thoughts or let an adult know what’s going on. Suicide is something that is always going to be around, so Ms. Gomes is hoping that in the upcoming year it is more talked about and more accepted so we can get help. You should never be afraid to speak out!

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New Suicidal Awareness program on campus