Knowing the risks

AHS students raise awareness of suicide, share resources

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Alpena High School junior Thomas Smithem, left, receives information about mental health and suicide awareness from juniors Rose Grekz and Emma Kroll on Wednesday.

ALPENA — Two Alpena High School students worked Wednesday to raise awareness of the danger of suicide.

Juniors Emma Kroll and Rose Grekz sought to help those who may feel suicidal or depressed during Suicide Prevention Week by providing information about the topic.

“We’re giving them options to get help,” Kroll said. “Quite a few students have come up and took different papers and stuff like that and asked some questions.”

The students provided different resources about mental health, topics to talk about with others, possible warning signs, and information about healthy and abusive relationships.

They also referred their peers to mystrength.com, a website that offers personalized resources to help people improve their mood. It can also help students with tools to help them overcome challenges they might face.

“Someone will send you text messages each day and they’ll, like, see how you’re doing and check your mental health, and if they notice something’s not right, they can start asking you questions and get you information or get you to someone else that can talk to you,” Kroll said. “We’ve actually had more people grab more of these than any of the other forms.”

The school has done different things all week for Suicide Prevention Week. Hope Shores Alliance spoke to students on Monday, students and staff wore yellow on Tuesday for Suicide Awareness Day, and Charis Counseling will be at the school today to speak with students.

“The main goal is just to get many kids to know about it, because not that many kids take is seriously, none of the kids know what’s going on, and just raising awareness alone will help out,” Kroll said.

Kroll said suicide awareness should happen more than one week.

“I feel like if you do it one week out of the year, students are going to forget about it and then they’re not going to care anymore,” she said.

Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.