As any high school student can tell you, September is the month when reality starts to hit that school is back in full swing. September brings back the late-night study sessions and sleepless nights fueled by caffeine rushes, the endless FaceTime calls with friends that you’ve finally rekindled with, and most prominently, the increasingly high stress levels typically associated with the return of piles of schoolwork.
Stress is not the only emotion that school brings along. That new-found sense of increasing independence can also bring elevated levels of loneliness, depression, and anxiety — the emotions no one really talks about, or only jokingly mention in passing conversations.
The sad and harsh reality is that mental health is not a joke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide and depression rates are higher than they’ve been in years. Since 2007, the suicide rate of high-school aged girls has nearly doubled and has reached its highest point in 40 years. Over the same period, the suicide rate of high-school aged boys has risen by over 30 percent.
September is National Suicide Awareness month, and there are many available sources available to teens and adults alike. If you are struggling, talk to friends, family members, someone you trust, a counselor, or even seek medical help, but don’t let it just bubble up inside your stomach or head. Additionally, there are many organizations that exist to help people struggling with mental health issues. At the end of this article, I’ve listed phone numbers for the National Suicide Prevention Line as well as other resources that may be helpful.
Suicide is not a battle you have to deal with alone and will not only affect yourself but also the people around you who deeply care about you. Don’t be afraid to speak out or tell someone; there will always be someone there to listen.
Suicide Prevention Resources:
- National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- The Trevor Project
- The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization founded and focused on suicide prevention efforts in LGBTQ youth.
- Trevor Lifeline: 866-488-7386
- TrevorChat: A free, confidential, and secure messaging service that provides live help to LGBTQ youth.
- The Crisis Line
- Text HOME from 741741 from anywhere in the United States about any type of crisis to receive help from a live, trained crisis counselor.
- School Counselors and Teachers
- Many of the teachers, counselors, and administrators have signs posted along windows of their rooms to provide a safe space, as well as someone to talk to.
- Equality Club
- Run by Jenni Hunting, Equality Club meets in Mr. Holloway’s room every Tuesday to discuss various topics, and open to accepting new people.
- You Are Not Alone Club (YANA)
- YANA is specifically run to help those in times of crisis. More details of the club aren’t available at the moment, but will be updated as soon as possible.
Your life is worth living, don’t forget it. There are other options. You are needed. You are loved.