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There is Always Hope

Aimee Scott, Sports, Clubs, and Humor Editor

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Most people who have thought about suicide do not want to die; they simply want to find relief from the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual pain they are going through. Having depression is like being surrounded in fire. You think about it constantly because it feels like you’re trapped. Your fears are consuming you because it seems like there is no way out and you’re done.

Just like getting burned by a fire, there are different degrees of experiencing suicidal ideation. Regardless of what your situation is, you can’t handle it by yourself, in silence. Mr. Payne, the head counselor at RHS, says that, “As bad as things are, there’s always hope. I believe that as a core belief. That there is always hope. As bad as it is.”

When you let your counselor know you need help, Mr. Payne explains that the first step is to, “Delve into some of the sources why they’re feeling suicidal. It could be anything, if they’ve lost a relationship, for example, or bad grades any of those things can cause you to be a little down or depressed. Drug or alcohol abuse, there’s all kinds of things that could cause that.”

Certain events happen in our lives that can make everything feel dark and unbearable. Riverton High’s principal, Ms. Gough, says that, “We have students that are going through really hard things in their families, it could be a really serious divorce or trouble at home. It can even be concerns about their own sexual orientation and if they feel they’re, ‘normal’ or ‘not normal.’ There could be stressors related to work or abuse and feeling like they’re blaming themselves for what happened. It can be pretty serious stuff that kids are dealing with. And you know what? We’ve handled all of that. We would handle all of that. We just don’t think that there would ever be a reason that students wouldn’t want to come talk to us. We always want students to share with us what their concerns are. And we have always been able, if we know what the concerns are, to come up with reasonable rational ways to help work them out.”

Ms. Gough says there is nothing more important to her than student safety. But, above all else, she wants each of her students to know how much she loves them. “I wouldn’t be doing this job if I didn’t love kids. It concerns me that students somehow think suicide is an option. It should never be considered as an option. As bad as the darkest day is, there is always a way we can figure things out. We can always be of assistance. Even if they don’t want our help with the actual problem and want us to be a support, we want to be there. And I definitely want to just make sure that students understand that we care. That’s what our job is everyday; that we come here and care about kids. And I just don’t want anybody to be afraid to come down and say, ‘I need help.’”

HOPE squad is a program designed so that those who are experiencing suicidal ideation can talk to a peer who is trained to recognize if their peers are at risk for suicide as well as how to encourage peers to seek help from a trusted adult. Haley Lawson is a member of our HOPE squad here at school. She wants everyone to know that, “Life sucks sometimes, but even when you feel down enough to take your own life, think of the people who would be most affected. I promise people care and would do anything to help. You just have to let people in.”

To anyone who is considering ending their own life: Don’t suffer in the smoke and flames. There are people out there who have been trained to rescue you and they’re ready to help. You matter. You are important. You are loved. And that is not something people are required to say to put a “band-aid” on what you’re feeling; it is truth. I hope you take a minute to let that sink in and feel it.

 

Resources for those struggling with suicidal ideation and those who love them (Visit with any of the individuals in this article to find what would be best for you):  

  • Warning signs of suicide: http://www.befrienders.org/warning-signs
  • If you feel you are suffering from depression make an appointment with your doctor. Worried about the cost, what to expect, etc.? View these fact sheets: http://depression.informedchoices.ca/fact-sheets/
  • Jordan Family Center: Winter Classes begin January 10, 2017, call 801-565-7442 to register for FREE 6 week classes. http://jordandistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/054_A-0316.pdf
  • University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) offers patient-centered care to treat all aspects of the individual—biological, psychological, social, and spiritual—elements essential to achieving balance in mental health. Their specialists treat conditions like anxiety, eating disorders, major depression, mood disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and substance abuse/chemical dependency. They also offer day treatment programs and support groups to help our individuals cope with everyday challenges and find a better quality of life. http://healthcare.utah.edu/uni/
  • Want to talk to someone with no emotional connection, but still understands?
    • WarmLine: (801) 587-1055
  • In a desperate situation?
    • Utah Crisis hotline: 801-587-3000
    • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386
    • Crisis counselors can also be reached using the SafeUT app, available for free on any smartphone

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There is Always Hope