How to Save a Life

How to Save a Life

Kendall Meenan, Staff Writer

Day by day, it worsens. Peers are beginning to notice the self-seclusion, but they don’t know how to help. Teachers witness the lack of interest in class, but they don’t perceive the cause. Friends hear the comments about wanting to end it all, but they don’t take it seriously.

Suicide is a serious issue and many teens struggle with it. Some contemplate committing suicide while others suspect that a friend wants to die. Fortunately there are resources available at BHS for students to utilize if they need help.

“BHS has a wonderful group of support staff in the guidance office. Along with the student’s counselor there is a social worker and school psychologist as well as a student assistance counselor. The nurses are also great resources,” states Mrs. Caridi, BHS Guidance Counselor.

Ms. Filippone, BHS School Social Worker, explains, “I think the best option is to come down and talk to me or talk to one of their school counselors. Talk privately to a teacher you are comfortable with, maybe you are comfortable with your coach.”

Any student can approach any teacher if he/she want to talk about suicide because teachers are trained on how to react to this type of confession. Usually, the teacher will take the student to the guidance office immediately.

According to Ms. Filippone, “[Teachers] just know to bring someone down [to guidance] immediately, but as long as an adult knows, they can bring it to the right person’s attention.”

Once a student has been referred to student services, the staff will do everything in their power to assist a student. “My job is then to get them help and to get them out of that hole of feeling helpless,” says Ms. Filippone.

One way the staff does this is by listening. Mrs. Caridi states, “As a counselor I consider myself someone for the student to talk to, someone that will listen no matter what.”

The guidance staff also has multiple methods to further help a student like suicide prevention telephone lines* as well as simply talking to the student’s entire family. “I help the family get set up with a counselor, someone to talk to on the outside. And also explore what other resources the family has,” Ms. Filippone says.

Not only can adults help prevent suicide but friends can as well, by talking to a counselor or adult. Mrs. Caridi explains, “A friend can help prevent suicide by not taking things on by themselves. If you feel a friend is having thoughts of suicide, speaking up is the best way to help!”

Ms. Filippone agrees with this also. She explains, “And I think that’s really the best thing you can do as a friend, is if you’re worried you bring it to an adult’s attention.”

A friend can make an impact on suicidal teen by simply supporting them as well. Ms. Filippone advises, “Don’t give up on that friend. It gives them hope, that they still have those options once they start feeling better. After they’re getting taken care of you just continue to be there and support them as a friend.”

*Some examples are: 2-1-1 through the United Way and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline which can be reached at (1800)273-TALK. Click here and here to read more about both.