by a middle schooler
Note from Anne Moss: When I spoke at the Shady Grove YMCA, there were mostly parents, but a few teens there and one of them talked to me after about the culture at her middle school. Quite different than most of us think although having been in schools and in the Y with teens, this came as no surprise to me. This isn’t just one school. This is common and indicates our culture has a problem. After we talked, the young lady wrote this on one of the index cards I had out for that purpose.
I am in middle school and so many people cut themselves, are depressed or suicidal. Many of them don’t try to get help. They won’t accept S.O.S help* or help from their friends if they are given help.
Sometimes they will deny it to their death that anything is wrong. Then feeling betrayed by whomever reported them, they will distance themselves and become angry and their situation worsens. Even worse than these cases, is when people are afraid of friends getting mad and don’t report it.
That is the real betrayal. Because they are so scared of losing them as a friend, they forget that by not helping them, they might be losing that person’s life.
When SOS came, people would mock the videos and still joke about suicide and even did during the event. A friend of mine who has had two suicides in her family was sitting in front of people who were joking and I could tell that it hit deep. I don’t know what can help, but your story tonight might. Thank you.
*SOS=Signs of Suicide, a program introduced to some area schools to talk about suicide and open up the conversation. It is a highly regarded program from SAMHSA