Suicide Prevention Week: It’s Time to Open our Hearts

Henyah Dardir, GW Editor

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Every year we mourn yet another celebrity’s suicide. Every year there is yet another tragedy where someone who was loved and cherished in their community passes on by choice. We’ve gradually become numb to those events in this day and age because of how frequently we are exposed to tragedy and suicide in the news and social media. These suicide victims aren’t just names in news articles though. They are real people who take their own lives, real people with families and friends who must to learn to live without that person they used to rely on. They are children losing mothers, brothers losing sisters, parents losing daughters. More than 41,000 individuals die from suicide each year. Each of those 41,000 people was an individual with a life and a family and friends. This Suicide Prevention Week, it is important that all of us try our best to make sure no one feels so alone that they’d take their own life.

 

Westlake High School is a school where there is virtually no bullying and minimal fighting. As wonderful as this school is, this doesn’t mean it’s completely angst free. Having this many self-propelled adolescents in one place is bound to have its consequences. One of these consequences is the isolation that comes with cliques and “squads.” It’s understandable to stick with a close group of friends in class, but what harm would it do to invite that person who sits alone at lunch to come sit with you? The worst they could do is say no. Reach out. Cross that barrier. Take a risk. Tell someone that you’d be happy to be their friend. Pulling them out of that isolation could save a life and make us more a interconnected community.

 

Us teens all seem to have a common flaw: we assume that we know others’ lives based on what we see. However, often, people present a different image than what they might actually feel. Someone who may be shy isn’t always stoic and cold. Someone who may be loud and funny can still get sad or lonely. Someone who may seem popular and perfect can still feel so, so isolated. Always check on your friends. Remember that funny and charismatic does not always mean happy. Remember that not saying anything is sometimes the loudest way to say something. Remember that pain is relative, and it is not your place to invalidate someone’s pain. Remember that no one in this school is invincible to the harm that words, even jokes, can cause. Sometimes it might not seem like your business to get involved. Sometimes someone says they’re fine. But sometimes you have to make the decision that could save someone’s life.

 

Image credits: https://uvmbored.com/event/world-suicide-prevention-day/

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