I was at school chatting with my younger sister at the lunch table. We were talking about random things, nothing too serious. Then, the president of our high school came on the intercom and made an announcement. All the staffs and teachers were supposed to meet in the auditorium and the students would report to there next class ASAP. I was a bit excited as I had a math test to take the next hour, and I was not really that prepared. Once I got to class, the classroom door was locked and all of us had to stand around in the halls. Most rooms were locked, so there were groups of students wandering and standing around. I was happy about not taking the math test, but also anxious about what the sudden announcement was about. I heard many possibilities that there was a school shooting going on or maybe somebody died. As a final ten minutes had past, the teacher were back, and I realized we would have time to take the math test. Oof. However, another announcement from our high school president came over the intercom saying that he would be telling the news in three minutes. Finally, as the anxious three minutes had passed, the president announced that Daniel Parney, a junior at Mayo High School, died this morning on Friday, November 9, 2018. Though I was not a personal friend, he was a classmate. A classmate who was brilliant, kind, funny, and extraordinary.
Mental health has been a rising issue faced by children and young adults. I do not want to jump into any conclusions, but school is a great impact on a child’s mental health. Though there are several other factors that come into play, we spend our life growing up at school. We are exposed to judgement, high expectations, and stress. In high school or in college, we get excited to try things out (clubs, activities, sports). We put too much onto ourselves and end up not being able to juggle everything at once. Little things eventually build up.
I am part of Rochester’s Youth Commission, and we have a committee that focuses on mental health, especially improving the high school’s health curriculum and awareness of mental health. How long ago was your last health class? Did you take much from it? The committee talked about many things, and many commissioners suggested many improvements towards the school’s health curriculum. We are also trying to get NAMI into the high schools in Rochester. Many things are still in progress, but we hope to improve awareness and importance of mental health.
Some of you guys might not still know what exactly to do if you or someone you know is going through issues. In “Want to help, but not sure what to do?”, it talks about some tips that we can apply in any future scenarios. First, start the conversation. Nothing is going to happen if no one takes action. It’s like a group of people surrounding a person who became unconscious on the street. Someone yells “Call 911!”, but no one does it because they think someone else will do it first (but not all the time). Don’t go sitting around, waiting for the perfect timing. On the other side, if you are the one facing struggles, be open and tell someone you trust. It’s easier said than done, but it’s true. You don’t have to spill all the beans. At least share some things that’s bothering you. Though the world may seem like it’s going against you, you have control on getting help. Be brave, be bold. And maybe sometimes its easier to tell a stranger. If you want to know more tips and actions visit the article above. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Line (1-800-273-8255)