Campus Crier

BSSD continues SOS training for students

“It can just teach students how to recognize people that are showing signs of struggling with depression and/ or suicidal thoughts and things like that,” Assistant Principal Wes McCubbin said.

Rese Collins

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On October 23, students watched the Signs of Suicide Prevention Program (SOS). This educational video, sponsored by the Screening for Mental Health (SMH) organization, attempts to increase depression awareness and offer suicide prevention training.

“It can just teach students how to recognize people that are showing signs of struggling with depression and/ or suicidal thoughts and things like that,” Assistant Principal Wes McCubbin said.

Following the SOS training, counselors from across the district reached out to over 100 BSHS students who indicated they would like a touch base with an adult based on their own or their friends feelings or behavior. A letter home to parents indicated that the goals of the programming included:

  • Helping our students understand that depression is a treatable illness.
  • Explaining that suicide is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression.
  • Providing students training in how to identify serious depression and potential suicidality in themselves or a friend.
  • Impressing upon our students that they can help themselves or a friend by taking the simple step of talking to a responsible adult about their concerns.
  • Helping students know who they can go to for help at school, if they need it.

While many may count the videos as less than authentic, McCubbin stressed the value in its content.

“Really we just want them to take this and be aware of themselves and their peers and just see the signs and even if the video maybe horrible and cheesy it does hit things that we need to talk about,” McCubbin said.

Beyond the SOS training, counselor Megan Callanan notes that the counseling office is always open for students in need.

“If a student ever wants to come in and talk to us and we are busy, there are little slips by the secretary and you just fill out a slip and tell us who you want to see and why and then the next second we get, we will call you down,” Callanan said.

In this day and age of fast communication, there’s no reason to struggle in silence. If electronic communication is easier, counselors are open to that as well.

“Some students just email us directly. I have a ton of students that will just send me an email saying like, ‘hey call me down when you get a second,’ and usually within 24 hours we have called them down and we have resolved the issue and often it’s a lot quicker than that,” Callanan said.

Callanan noted that talking is the key, and being involved often helps students to feel a bigger sense of relationships and belonging.  

“If you don’t feel comfortable with any of us there are other ways that you can build those relationships and find those trusted adults to talk with. Talk to your teachers–join clubs, join activities, find reasons to be around others so that you can form those bonds,” she said.

Callanan reiterated that the counseling office has an open door policy.

“My office always is open to students unless there is other students are in it and even if my office isn’t open then the other counselors are also here to help,” Callanan said.

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BSSD continues SOS training for students