In the past few years, suicide rates among adolescents have risen considerably and have become the third leading cause of death. Since this is an issue that could possibly affect the students of DMAE, the ZONE took action. On Wednesday, Sept. 18-19, 2019, the ZONE held presentations about suicide prevention in classrooms and in the school library.
“Too many lives are impacted by suicide, from the one who dies by suicide, to their families, friends, and communities. It is very important that we learn how to come together as a society to help those in need and prevent unnecessary and traumatic loss,” said ZONE advisor and director of Adolescent and School Based Youth Services Mariam Gerges.
In the presentation, Ms. Gerges covered the major topics of how to recognize red flags of suicidal thinking, how to support friends who are struggling, where to find help for yourself or friends, the difference between being depressed and suicidal thinking, and the main kinds of suicidal thoughts. All the presentations emphasized how suicide awareness is important especially at the start of a school year, which is why September is Suicide Prevention month. Additionally, Ms. Gerges and other ZONE representatives want to be sure DMAE students understand that they are far from alone and may get help if they are struggling.
“Presenting on this topic always leads to students feeling that they can come for support. And usually students are able to open up about their experiences,” Ms. Gerges said.
The ZONE prioritizes educating and supporting students on this subject matter, and the passionate counselors believe that one life is one too many to lose. Ms. Gerges plans to keep underscoring this important subject to make sure students know that their lives are precious, and that they have a sanctuary right here at DMAE.
“I would like students to know that they do not have to carry the burden alone. There are caring people here and in the world who are willing to listen and help,” she concluded.