Suicide prevention month raises awareness about serious issue

Noel Bailey, Reporter


     September is dedicated to bringing attention to suicide, and North Harford (NH) has been doing its part to raise awareness.

     School psychologist Christle Henzel said NH has lots of resources such as “our school’s guidance department that includes counselors and school psychologists” for students who feel the need to want to reach out about something.”

     According to the CDC, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages ten to 34. “There have been 6,241 suicides in the age range of fifteen – twenty-four in 2017. The rates have been going up since.” Students start learning about suicide in health class in seventh grade. 

     According to Christle, North Harford is partnered with agencies such as Upper Bay that will provide students counseling within the school, and the Harford crisis center to help collaborate services for students. The guidance counselors also have other resources that they can refer to students if they want.

     America’s health ranking says four out of five suicide deaths are preceded by warning signs, ”suicidal threats, previous suicide attempts, preoccupation or obsession with death, depression, and final arrangments.”

     The counseling that is offered addresses a variety of mental health issues, which students sign up to be in those groups to learn more about it. The counselors also “provide wellness lessons to various classrooms,” Christle says.

     According to the CDC “more than 90% of people who attempt suicide and survive never go on to die by suicide.” An estimate of 285,000 people each year become suicide survivors.

     One advocate said they were donating to suicide prevention foundations. Another person was sophomore Emma Hammond who said she was “spreading awareness through sharing posts and talking to people about it.”

     In October the office at North Harford is setting up a “Wellness Fair” in order to prompt mental health wellness. The fair will consist of “mindfulness activities, yoga, dance/movement, and intro to service animals.”

     To learn about mental health outside of school people can sign up for online classes and groups that can help.

     Suicide prevention awareness month provides time to come together to talk and bring awareness to a topic that’s important.

     Mental health is always a topic, but suicide prevention month is a time to start advocating just by yourself or with your school. Reach out if you need help.