Suicide Prevention Week


Nicole Lupo

Students participate in planting seeds to raise awareness.

Allison Foor

Nationally, September is Suicide Prevention Month where awareness is brought to the importance of mental health. The My Mental Health Matters club and many other contributors dedicated a week at State High for activities and events to help spread awareness and decrease the stigma around Suicide Prevention.

The second week of National Suicide Awareness Month, State College Area High School put together Suicide Prevention Week to increase awareness around the school.  Suicide Prevention Week included a variety of different events and activities put together by different clubs, organizations, and people such as the My Mental Health Matters Club, Student Senate, Student Government, Spirit Council, Agricultural Club, Ms. Tobias, Jana Marie Foundation, and many other volunteers.  

On Tuesday Sept. 6, Suicide Prevention Week started and the My Mental Health Matters Club used ribbons and resources to spread awareness. They handed out a variety of fliers for coping skills made by Elisabeth James, Mental Health Clinician and Co-advisor of the Mental Health matters club. The students also handed out yellow ribbons, a color Centre County has decided to use in representation of Suicide Awareness. 

On Wednesday, Sept. 7th, the club had students engage in SCASD unity by writing positive messages for hope and healing for the academic year.  They wrote these messages on sticky notes and put them on the big letters that spell out SCAHS by the cafeteria.  

“A lot of them [the sticky notes] are like, ‘Give ourselves time to grow.’ ‘Be hopeful,’ ‘This one will pass, just a lot of messages so that we can all kind of come together and know that, we all struggle at times, and it’s okay to struggle,” James said.  

On Thursday, Sept. 8, students were able to participate in planting seeds of hope. Cups and seeds were donated by a few local providers, allowing  students to be able to decorate the cups, plant seeds in them, and take it home or donate it to someone who made an impact in their life.  Many students decided to give theirs to a teacher or parent.  

Jillian Carpenter, a senior in the My Mental Health Matters Club took part in many of the Suicide Prevention Week events with an intent to offer support to others. 

“I really liked the seeds of hope,” Carpenter said.  “That was fun to go outside and plant some flowers, and just spread positivity,” she added.

To end the week of raising awareness, on Friday, Sept. 9, a concert was held outside during all three lunch periods because music is a great coping mechanism for many people. Volunteers also passed out popsicles to students. It gave students an opportunity to relax during their lunch period and enjoy the sunshine.  

 Cathaline Saylor, a senior in the My Mental Health Matters Club helped out with many of the Suicide Prevention Week events with a goal of spreading awareness to others.  “I think it’s important to remind everyone in this school that there are people who care about them and there are resources for them to reach out too, and that even if it kind of sucks now everything can get better,” Saylor said.  

The variety of events for Suicide Prevention Week provided a lot of fun for the people involved and the students at State High, while also raising awareness to students.  Overall Suicide Prevention Week comes down to spreading awareness and decreasing the stigma around mental illnesses and asking for help.