By Lana Wright
(Editor’s note: Lana Wright is the executive director of Wayne County Family Connection.)
The following excerpt is from an essay is submitted by a 10th-grade student at Wayne County High School to bring awareness to a current social problem we have in our community: mental health.
The essay is heart-wrenching but at the same time provides a valuable insight to what some of our students are feeling.
Wayne County Family Connection’s Strategic Plan for Fiscal Year 2020 includes a goal of combating the current mental health issues within our community.
As you read this essay, please be aware that there are several ongoing processes currently being worked on to help with mental health Issues within our community. In order to be successful, it will take the effort of many; therefore, if you are willing to help us work on this growing concern, Wayne Family Connection welcomes any member of our community to join us.
Our next meeting will be conducted on Oct. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The focus of our meeting is to discuss implementing mental health awareness and education. The address is 367 Bamboo St. in Jesup.
The essay reads, “An important social problem in our community is suicide. Suicides are a serious issue that needs to have drastic response. In our community, there have been a total of four high school students who have decided to take their own lives in the past four years. I want to see the high school and community take action on this. Students should not have to feel this is the only way to solve their problems.
“You never know when someone is having a hard time. I wish that the school would hire someone the students trust and they would like to talk to. Getting a professional therapist to stay at the school or even someone that can come to the school occasionally would benefit the school and the students. Another idea to help advocate suicide prevention is that the schools could have an assembly where suicide survivors could talk about their experiences and recovery. These ideas could help the current problem with suicide in our community. If the schools get someone to talk to the students, then we will hear from someone who is going through or has gone through a rough time. This would really help students cope and know there are other options, such as therapy, healthy diets, being active, etc.
“I am nervous this is going to happen again, since last month ago another girl took her life. This negative stigma surrounding mental health needs to stop. The school and the community need to work together to resolve this ongoing mental health issue. There have been three suicides this calendar year and one a few years ago. All of these suicides need to be accounted for through new and updated programs at the high school and through community involvement. This issue can be resolved, but only with the cooperation of the high school, the community and Wayne County as a whole.”
For more information please contact me at 256-2150.