Suicide Prevention Month; Spreading Awareness

Lily Vaughan '23, Co-Editor

Warning: This article discusses mental health topics that may be triggering and/or sensitive to some.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, a period of time dedicated to spreading facts, and educating others on how we can help people who may be struggling. 

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people age 15 to 24 in the U.S. Nearly 20% of high school students report serious thoughts of suicide and 9% have made an attempt to take their lives.”

Unfortunately, suicide is prevalent among teens and young adults, so it’s important that we bring awareness to this topic, put an end to misconceptions, and educate our school community. 

Firstly, it’s important to understand that there are many reasons people may feel suicidal. Whether they are struggling with mental health problems, facing bullying, discrimination, abuse, etc. Other causes include difficulty adjusting to change, long-term illness or pain, addiction, and other forms of trauma. Additionally, some medications, such as antidepressants can cause suicidal feelings. 

It’s important not to stereotype people based on their mental illnesses. For example, not all those who have depression are suicidal. Suicide is a symptom of depression, and not everyone has all the symptoms. With that being said however, depression and mental health are nonlinear, so it is important for you to be cognizant of how it could progress if left untreated.

Lastly, and arguably most importantly, if you are noticing signs or feeling worried about someone, don’t be afraid to ask them in a kind, calm, and courteous way if they are considering ending their life. According to, experts agree that “asking about suicide will NOT plant the idea in someone’s mind”, rather it will help them feel like they matter. If you are unsure of how to handle the situation, it is always best to go to a trusted adult rather than remain silent. 

Identifying the signs 

  • Withdrawing or isolating yourself 
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Threatening hurting themselves
  • Using drugs or alcohol more than often

These are only a few indicators of someone who is suicidal. If you are concerned about you or someone you know, there are many resources avalible for you to get help. For immediate help call 911 or the Suicide and Crisis lifeline at 988. There are also resources availible to you here at the high school. School Counseling, School Adjustment Counselor, CSS, and School Psychologists are all safe spaces at WHS, and people that you can reach out to.