School leaders promote suicide prevention

Tatum Brennan, Health Editor

The month of September marks Suicide Prevention Month. Here on campus at Laguna Beach High School, our Peer Mentors worked alongside school psychologist Grace Jones, and school counselors Nichole Rosa, Angela Pilon, Alexis Mele, Eric Banducci, and Ivonne Redard during lunch to help raise awareness of the rising cases of suicide. On Sept. 7, they set up a booth in the main quad engaging with students and handing out cards that included the suicide hotline and words of inspiration that reminded us of the roles we all play in holding up those in our community who are in need.

Little acts of compassion can build up to have a significant impact on someone’s life. A single action can even save another’s life entirely.

“If you or someone you know is struggling and in need of support, please be sure to reach out to a trusted adult, such as a parent, counselor, or teacher,” said Mele.

The school counselors were spotted in semicolon shirts during this event. This is because the icon is a symbol of suicide prevention, and it is commonly used among suicide survivors. The semicolon symbolizes the continuation of one’s life. 

There are a multitude of warning signs that are able to be spotted verbally or physically. Some of those signs include: 

  • expressing feelings of hopelessness/ lack of self-worth
  • increased use of drugs or alcohol
  • isolating away from the people you love
  • dramatic changes in weight, etc. 

If these signs are visible in the people in your life, or if you recognize some of these indicators in yourself, here is a piece of advice from senior Andrew Kelleher, ASB president and president of Medtac Club:

As a Breaker family, we need to stick together, check on each other, and make sure we are okay as a family.”

For more information, read LBUSD uses Suicide Prevention Month to encourage year-round vigilance.

Data showing the decrease in suicide success rates since 2018 from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

Data supporting the preventability to suicide from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: