By Madison Vanesler
On campus, there are many students that struggle with mental health problems as well as suicidal thoughts. There is now a program on campus that is working towards helping people become more aware of this, which is the Teen Suicide Awareness Prevention Program (TSAPP). Selected students from Peer Leaders, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and the Associated Student Body (ASB) were all chosen to be a part of TSAPP to help positively impact the school.
TSAPP first began to raise awareness by creating a video on the issue of suicidal thoughts and other mental health issues people deal with. In addition, they have explained that it is okay to ask for help if one is dealing with these kinds of issues. As of right now, the students are working towards raising awareness of suicidal thoughts and mental health through the program. One of the members of TSAPP, Senior Jaedyn Wells, stated, “We are going to try to raise awareness by also showing the signs of suicide or of people who have serious mental health [issues].” People who struggle with mental health issues such as depression, schizophrenia or suicidal thoughts often do not ask for help or tell anyone what they are going through, usually out of fear. However, if people do not ask for the help they need, it could become dangerous for them and so it is important that people offer help in any way they can and are welcoming and accepting to these students. Suicide occurs so often now that in Riverside county, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for teenagers. TSAPP helps students that struggle with these issues understand that they can talk to someone they trust about what they are feeling or going through in order to get the help they need.
For people who struggle with suicidal thoughts or other mental health problems, there are many different people or resources they can go to for help, such as a trusted adult, a parent, a counselor, or a trusted friend. This program also helps students know that there are people like them that are also struggling with these problems and can connect them with these people who can better relate to what they are going through. Mental health and suicide are very important topics that are often taken less seriously than they truly are and as a result, many people struggle with suicidal thoughts or other mental health issues and do not know where to go for help. Fortunately, with the help of TSAPP on campus, students will now better understand the importance of helping fellow students in their struggles with mental health. Additionally, it will aid the students who are dealing with these problems in learning to speak up and get help.
The TSAPP program advisors, on-campus counselors, Mrs. Elyce Mandich and Mrs. Carissa Teachout, went to the Inland Empire Directing Change Award Ceremony on May 2 for their film “Even you, Even me.” TSAPP was the only program from campus that went to this particular award ceremony. In fact, TSAPP getting the opportunity to go to the award ceremony shows that the program and its goal of raising awareness of mental health is important to many other people in the community.
Now that there is a program on campus working towards raising awareness of mental health problems and suicide, as well as teaching people it is okay to ask for help when they are feeling this way, members of TSAPP are hopeful that more students will be more comfortable asking for the help they need. Suicide and mental health awareness are very important in helping the people who need it to receive help and with TSAPP in place, it is much more likely that students will understand this.