Your Story Matters

Lily Norman, Photography Editor

Our society has a propensity to ignore mental health until a tragedy occurs. The month of September is dedicated to suicide prevention. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, suicide rates are higher than they ever have been. During this time of the year, it’s important to take time to check in on your friends and family.

In an anonymous survey, Pattonville students were given the opportunity to share their story and experiences without the fear of being judged or shamed.

According to the survey, 57% of recipients in this interview admitted to losing someone to, or knowing someone who has battled suicide. 92% of recipients in this interview admitted to experiencing thoughts of ending their own life. Throughout the past few years, suicide rates have sky rocketed. In America, it is one of the leading causes of death. In 2020 alone, there was an estimated of 1.20 million suicide attempts according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Throughout this survey, many people opened up to experiencing hopeless thoughts about their own lives.

“I’ve dealt with suicidal thoughts for a big part of my life. I’ve been hospitalized multiple times. During one of those hospitalizations, my mom talked to this other mom who was grieving over the loss of her daughter in a car accident. That lady told my mom ‘It’s not that your son wants to leave, he just doesn’t know how to stay,’ and that has stuck with me ever since,” one anonymous survey responder said.

Pattonville counselor Megan Harris explained her point of view on suicide awareness month. Working in high school, Harrison has had a lot of experience with youth and mental health.

“I think the biggest advice I have is to reach out to someone and continue reaching out until you get the help and support that you need. Everyone struggles and there are a lot of people who care and resources that are available, but you’ll never get connected with them if you don’t reach out to anyone,” said Harris

With that being said, remember that it’s perfectly okay to not be okay. The world needs you, so reach out for help with a school counselor, a therapist, a trusted adult, or the Suicide Prevention Hotline: 988.