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Death and Grieving Coping with loss is difficult at any age, but you are not alone during this difficult time. Reach out to other users in this forum.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
hoʻonani i ka makua mau
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Name: Nicole
Age: 26
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I want to make a difference -- ideas needed - January 7th 2011, 12:04 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of death or grieving, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

As stupid as it sounds, by now everyone is pretty much convinced that our school has some sort of senior curse. Every year for a while back now, during the 4th quarter of the school year we've always lost a senior, either to suicide or to drunk driving. I'm sure we're not the only school this has happened to, and I'm sure we're not going to be the last.

Hawaii is the state with the highest number of at-risk teens for suicide and drug abuse according to some recent study, apparently.

Max died in a car accident over spring break of 2009, and after that we had so many presentations about drunk driving and our school did a ton of projects with MADD, but suicide is always unspoken. I know it's a touchy subject, but I just wish the school system would be a little more... I don't even know how to say it, but I just wish we would have more presentations on things like suicide prevention.

This year I already know 2 students from my class who have attempted suicide, I think people need to know more before it's too late. And we need to learn how to grieve, or atleast have someone we can talk to -- things the school has failed to provide in the past.

I'm not really sure how to bring this up with the school board, but I would really like to get some kind of program going. After alcohol and drug abuse and teen pregnancy, suicide is probably the biggest problem our school has. Does anyone have ideas on how to approach the situation?

In loving memory of...

Michael Kunio Iida
January 22, 1990 - May 30, 2008

Max Michael Timothy Agor
February 26,1991 - March 22, 2009

Keli'i Nigel Shigematsu
November 23, 1992 - April 14, 2010
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I want to make a difference -- ideas needed - January 15th 2011, 02:24 AM

Do you guys have counselors at your school ??

Ok, what is the chain of command in the school board ?
You can ask a teacher to help you out, or if you have counselors then you can
also try and setup a counseling group for students who are depressed or want to attempt
suicide ??

I can speak from experience because I almost tried it and thought about it much. The best thing to help out people who want to attempt such suicide is to be good to them and be a friend. To help them out.

I came here to help out, so if you wanna talk or just need someone to bounce ideas or issues off of or something else then send me a message and I will reply as soon as I can.
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Re: I want to make a difference -- ideas needed - January 21st 2011, 11:59 AM

Hey Erin Nicole,

First, let me say that I am so sorry that your school and your community continues to be faced with these tragedies. I know that my senior year, we lost one of our juniors to a drunk driving accident, and it was hard not just on the people who knew him, but on the entire school and the entire community. We had to really try to bond together and support each other as we all grieved for the loss of such a lively and outgoing young man, and I imagine that your school is doing the same. I encourage you all to be there for one another. In the face of a tragedy, it is so much easier to try to turn away from those who remind us of the deaths of our loved ones, but we MUST try to surround ourselves with those who love us and care for us. There is power and so much healing to be found in community and fellowship, and I hope that your school is really honing in on this as you go through these hardships.

I wanted to check back in with you on this thread and see how things were going. What kind of things have you been looking in to, so far? Have you come across anything or anyone who is willing to support you? I think you have the right idea, and I think its so awesome that you want to do something to erase the stigma surrounding suicide. You're right, it IS a touchy subject... but if opening the platform to talk about depression and other issues leading to suicide help reduce the number of people affected by suicide each year, I think its worth every second. (: I have a few ideas for you, Erin Nicole:

- As Jackson said, what kind of counseling services do you have at your school? I know that when the junior I mentioned, from my own high school, was killed from a drunk driving accident, the counselors immediately pooled together their resources, brought in several outside grief support/counseling services, and provided centers to students needing and wishing to talk to professionals about whatever sorts of things they needed to. I think this was EXCELLENT on behalf of both the counseling resource center and the school administration, and I highly encourage you to check with your own counseling services and see what kind of thing they offered. I also encourage you to talk with your teachers about starting an open communication and letting their students know that it is OKAY to ask for help. Most people think that strength is only found in dealing with one's own problems and being independent, but I think there is also SO much strength to be noted in knowing when to throw up the red flag and ask for help.

- Have you heard of To Write Love on Her Arms? Its an organization that's pretty much dedicated to erasing the stigma surrounding depression, suicide, eating disorders, self harm -- some of the more delicate/"touchy" subjects, as you mentioned. TWLOHA also exists to provide hope and healing to those affected by these issues. My senior year of high school, I was very involved with TWLOHA and actually had a "write love on YOUR arms" day at my own school, during which we had an early morning and afternoon announcement about what EXACTLY TWLOHA was. Much to my surprise, almost every student in my school had love written on their arms, and everyone knew exactly what it was for and exactly why they were doing it - they recognized that it wasn't just a fad...and I literally believe that was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life. (: I say that not to relive the golden days, myself (as I DID love high school), but instead to encourage you and try to illustrate that students in high school--I might add that my high school is one of the most diverse schools but one of the most closely knit, loving schools in my entire county and perhaps several surrounding counties--CAN get behind something like this, and WILL get behind it, especially if its an issue that they feel is relevant and needs to be addressed. (:

Hang in there, Erin Nicole. I think you're really on to something, and I hope that you will continue in your journey to reach your incredible goal of starting the open conversation on these tough issues that NEEDS to be started. One step at a time! If you need any support, encouragement, ideas, brainstorming pals, people to bounce ideas off of... I can usually be reached through Private Message or through most other routes on TeenHelp, and I'd love to hear from you.

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Re: I want to make a difference -- ideas needed - January 29th 2011, 02:58 AM

My high school is pretty much the same. Its my first year but my teachers are always talking about how their favorite students had died from drunk driving last year. They do talk a lot about drunk driving but it never really ends. But i totally agree with the schools needing to start talking about suicide more. I didn't know this guy personally but i have heard about him a lot around my school district. His mother had left him years ago and he was always fine till one day he just snapped and hung him self. Everyone else knew him, we have memorials in the front of our school for people like that. But we never really TALK about it, like have a huge presentation or assembly about preventing it. Something that could probably work is to just try to organize your own program for the school. Get a favorite teacher of yours who really cares about students and talk about it, then confront it with the counseling office.
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