School advocates for suicide awareness

Gavin Batley, Reporter

Suicide is a pressing issue in society today, self harm being the 10th most common form of death in the United States according to the CDC. Suicide is also the second leading cause of death among adolescents aged 15-19. Seeing as September is suicide awareness month it is important we recognize it and talk about it.
Often a semicolon (;) is used in reference to suicide awareness. The semicolon represents the continuation of a sentence rather than the ending of it, as though saying things could have ended but did not and instead carried on.
The school faculty is all trained in suicide prevention every year through the DPI (Department of Public Instuction).
School Psychologist Belinda Stevens also advocates for students’ mental health using her position as school psychologist to further support students.
“I think there’s always more than can be done, but we’re doing the best that we can with what we have and I will continue to support students to the best of my ability,” Stevens said.
High School Guidance Counselor Ann Ragus along with Stevens both agree that mental health and suicide is somewhat of an issue.
“It’s an issue everywhere so it’s important that we address it,” Ragus said.
Both Stevens and Ragus express that it’s extremely important that we talk about it so that it gets the recognition it needs and those struggling with mental health have the resources they need readily available to them.
“My biggest thing is that it’s important that we talk about it and communicate how we are feeling to others. Bringing awareness to such a topic is extremely important,” Stevens said.
An available resource to students here at Berlin High School is that of Belinda Stevens who can be reached via phone, email or walk-in visit. If you feel you are struggling with mental health and need someone to talk to, Stevens’s door is always open and she’s always willing to sit down and talk with a student about whatever is going on in their life. Other resources include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline along with student counselors Ann Ragus and Matt Willett who can be found in student services.