Campaign draws attention to suicide


Twelve-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick jumped to her death in an abandoned concrete warehouse in Lakeland on Sept. 9 after being cyber-bullied by 15 girls for more than a year.  Sedwick’s mother said she knew her daughter had been bullied and that Rebecca had cut her wrists at one point, but that she had not expected it to lead to suicide.

Sept. 23-28 is Suicide and Depression Awareness Week, an event to help spread the word about how to prevent suicide, the 10th leading cause of death among young people.

Assistant Principal Jackie Ingratta said that, typically, people contemplating suicide will give signs, and that communication is most important when dealing with this kind of situation, or any situation.

“There are lots of signs that someone may want to hurt themselves,” Ingratta said. “They give subtle hints. We encourage students to talk to someone because if they feel comfortable around you, they’ll tell you if they’re feeling depressed and then you can help them.”

Guidance Counselor Spero Tshontikidis said students should come to guidance with any problems, adding that suicide always impacts those close to the victim.

“Students should never feel ashamed or embarrassed to come to [guidance],” Tshontikidis said. “We are here to help, and I have a list of resources for students to get more help from. The living are always affected by suicide. There’s always the question of ‘could I have done something to help?’”

Ninth-graders will be watching a video about suicide during homeroom on Monday.