Saving lives

RUHS aims to better equip students and staff with suicide prevention training

The RUHS staff is working together in an effort to spread awareness about the signs of suicide and the precautions to be taken. Due to the rising number of deaths by suicide for children, actions must be taken. RUHS hosted an assembly for sophomores on Tuesday, Feb. 4 to educate them on the signs of suicide and ways to get help with an educational video. 

During the assembly, a 30 minute video was played, addressing the main signs of suicide and how to react. According to Gavin Alvarado, “The skits kind of seemed overplayed and indulgent in what people think mental illness is,” he said. 

While some students did view this video as overplayed and not accurate, others had a different perception. As stated by Courtney Schatan, “Yes, it’s also kind of like every other video that everyone’s seen, but of course every other video does help,” she said.

In addition to the video, there were also two screening forms, one anonymous and one not, that were distributed to the students, asking if they have a trusted adult to tell and offering a way to get help if needed.

In response to the assembly, students had mixed emotions. “I thought it was interesting to say the least. Although I didn’t feel like it would improve anything,” Alvarado said. When asked about the effect the video had, Schatan admits improvements could be made. “I feel like if they had more real life scenarios, it would have been more helpful,” she said.

RUHS also hopes to better equip their staff by teaching them how to recognize signs of struggle in students and the correct ways to deal with students in need of help. Counselor Denise Holmes arranged a suicide prevention training for the teachers, educating them on the signs of suicide and ways they can help students in need. 

Counselor Ivy Lee explained that the main idea of the teacher training was to bring more awareness about the topic of suicide to teachers. During the teacher training, a powerpoint was shown to the teachers, educating them on statistics and the ways they can do their part in helping students in need. There was also a video provided by the Signs Of Suicide program, also known as SOS, to give teachers the correct tools to deal with certain situations where a student needs help. “At the end of the day, it’s to all be on the same page in terms of school protocol and how we best support our students,” she said in reference to the main goal of the teacher training.

According to the Change Direction campaign, one in five students may struggle with a mental health condition, such as anxiety and depression. These mental health conditions, when gone unrecognized, can often lead to depression or even suicide. In order to spread awareness to the rising mental health crisis, posters with this information can be found in counselor’s offices and around the school. 

There are two different posters, each with different information. The ACT poster offers information on what to do if someone has confided in you that they are suffering emotionally. The “A” is, ACKNOWLEDGE signs of suicide in a friend, the “C” is, show your friend that you CARE, and the “T” is, TELL a trusted adult. This poster also offers a crisis text line, where you can text ‘ACT’ to 741741 to get the help you need. 

The second poster, “Know The Five Signs,” is meant to help teachers and adults recognize the symptoms of a student who may be in emotional distress and need help. The poster also offers multiple ways to help the student, as well as many resources for parents and students to reach out to. 

Redondo Union hopes that the precautions being taken have a positive influence on students and encourage them to speak out about any mental health issues they or someone they know may be struggling with.