Why is suicide prevention such a touchy subject? We support the troops in every way that we can, yet we still can't help the 22 veterans who take their lives everyday? We have so much data tying Mental Health issues to Suicide and yet we treat both issues differently instead of linked. What would happen if we took another approach?
Cascade School district in Leavenworth Washington just went through one of the most painful processes you can go though after one of it's school body students took their life. Suicide among students was once a conversation to be had in case it happend, not one for prevention or understanding of a person's situation and mental well being. Now, community and peer groups are starting to recognize the value of counseling and suicide prevention.
On a more personal note, I too come from a School that has dealt with death on campus. My senior year of high school saw the loss of two students in our school student body. One, a varsity football athlete in a tragic accident, the other, a confused hispanic youth who would have rather killed himself than turn the gun on another human being. Can you guess which of these instances got a full school assembly along with trauma counslors? You shouldn't have to, it should have been both.
The point I am trying to make is that service for grief counseling and outreach for suicide prevention should not be limited to certain situations or even certain groups, it should be a community effort to help all those impacted by death at such a young and influential age. A death not only changes things for the family involved, but also for every person that life touched.
Check out the article below highlighting Cascade Schools efforts to bring awareness to suicide prevention in their community!