How do I help?

How do I help?

I started a mental health awareness club to my school last year. I just learned today that our Dean’s son has committed suicide. The son was a coach at my school. He was a great coach and a great person. The Dean as well is an amazing person who must be going through a horrible time. School hasn’t started yet, but when the death becomes public knowledge, I want to do something. I want to be proactive and do something in my community. But how do you approach that? It is such a touchy subject and I’m worried I may overstep. I don’t have many ideas because again, I’m unsure how to approach this.

Consider This

  • It is great you have taken the initiative to start an awareness group like this at your school!  One way to begin to deal with suicides that are this close to your school might be to hold a meeting with your leadership of the club to catch up on how the summer has gone and reconnect.  You can see if anyone brings up the subject at this time.
  • Another way to provide support is to hold some kind of even increasing awareness of suicide, not specifically stating any names or details, but providing some general support through posters, peer mentoring, etc.
  • You could also check in with your school’s counseling department to see if they have any idea.
  • Finally, you could provide material to help others identify suicidal gestures, ways they can get help if they are struggling, and how friends and family can support.

Help Yourself

  • If you were in that Dean’s situation, what would you want people to do?
  • How can you provide support without intruding in someone’s private information?
  • Who can you reach out to at the school to discuss your concerns?