September 10-16 was National Suicide Prevention Week. Each death by suicide directly impacts numerous family members, friends, loved ones, and in a sense, an entire community. So during this week Plymouth High School geared several activities around focusing on acts of kindness and awareness towards others.
On Monday the Plymouth High School’s guidance department sent students an email containing general information about the national week, warning signs, and ways to get help if they or someone they know needs help. On Tuesday during homeroom students were given the opportunity to wear a ribbon in support of National Suicide Prevention Week.
Wednesday through Friday during lunch in the cafeteria, students were able to sign up for the Out of the Darkness Community Walk to raise awareness about suicide that will take place on Sunday, October 1, at 2 p.m. in Newton Park in Lakeville. The walk is called Walk to Fight Suicide and LaVille High School is sponsoring the event. Plymouth High School would like to host a team. Anyone can register online for the event by visiting afsp.org/Lakeville.
The week wrapped up on Friday at PHS with students having the opportunity during their 20 minute Student Resource Time period to come to the front of the building for a special balloon release.
The staff at Plymouth High School want all students to know that everyday they care about all students. Suicide is a preventable death and students need to know that staff members and counselors are here to break down the stigma that sometimes exists around suicide. The first priority for each and every PHS staff member is Plymouth High School students. The PHS staff will continue to show student we care – not just this week – but every week.
Plymouth Community School Corporation would like to thank parent Rebecca Koontz for donating ribbons and helium balloons to make this week memorable for our students.
Koontz said, “When you hear someone you love say that they felt to alone to reach out for help, or that they didn’t think anyone would understand, or that they would just be called crazy, it changes you. No one should ever feel that way and you want to make sure everyone around you knows that. The teen years are hard and suicide is the leading cause of death in teens. School halls can seem so full, yet feel so empty to someone who feels this way on the inside. I just want our youth to know they are not alone. There is a community full of people who care about them. I want to break the silence so that no teen ever has to say they felt like no one would understand, ever again.”
Koontz and her husband Jim Blalock have four children who attend Plymouth Community School Corporation.