- I would start by asking the room if anyone heard of the word or knows what it means.
- After allowing others to give examples of what suicide means to them, I would engage with the students as much as they are comfortable.
- Next, I would share my story with them and allow them to ask questions. After, we will talk about how important it is to have at least one trusted person to talk to on good and bad days. We will discuss W.A.F; and how we are here as their virtual bestie no matter how BIG or SMALL the topic is.
- If you feel like you’re in a box and it’s dark inside, we want to step into that box and sit beside you but open up the flaps and let some light in.
- Mental health struggles are real, and they are common. Having a mental health problem does not mean that you don’t belong or that you are less than human; you are just as human as anyone else.
- No one should have to feel like they can’t open up about the struggles they go through.
- Your mental health struggles are not your fault. If you feel stuck it’s because it’s hard to get out of there, not because you’re weak or because you want to be there.
- At first sense I would let them know that the topic we will be bringing up is a serious matter and is no joke at all. Bringing it up will be asking if they think they have an idea of the word, a definition.
- Once explaining I will be explaining that feeling alone may be hard to open up about but with the energy and time of wanting to grow for the better, it will help. Although it may be hard to feel wanted there are times when you may need alone time to yourself to think. There can be days where you don't like yourself but other days where you love yourself but just know it is not your fault for how you feel because everyone has a past and present time with problems. Just know you are not alone, and you can get help.
- At the end I will be asking questions to all to see if they need answers. For the elementary kids, I will be less graphic but less settled, so they understand. Middle schoolers I will let them understand more I would say because there is so much while transitioning from elementary to middle school then high school.
- For all age groups within the range of elementary school, middle school, and high school I would do the following. I would first present my own personal suicide PowerPoint presentation. No graphic images will be showcased in the presentation, of course, only the definition of suicide and all the basic information I know to the best of my knowledge regarding the topic.
- Once done with the presentation, I would then share that I’d like for others to share their stories, what they know of suicide, etc., and if they’re not comfortable for any reason to share first, I’ll propose that I share my story first, so they don’t feel uneasy showing their hands once I show mine. Though before sharing any kind of story, I would suggest everyone chip in so we can create a quick agreement between us all. An agreement shall be followed while stories are being exchanged so everyone remains comfortable not only with me but with their peers the entire time. For example, I’ll most likely be writing on a board to keep the agreement on display so if they chip in ideas like no judging, paying attention while someone is sharing (body language), etc., that would be the nature of the agreement we all come up with. Then when we all feel comfortable with everything, we expect of one another during the process, sharing will begin.
- When sharing is finished, I would wrap the discussion up with the importance of suicide, checking up on loved ones, and having someone of their own they can genuinely speak with as well. Finally, I would further explain our organization, and our goals and explain my personal intentions with them all… Which would be that “I will be as selfless as I can be during our relationship with one another. My assistance in being there for you all is to benefit you before it ever benefits me, this is for you, I am here for you.”
- I would first ask the students to simply raise their hand if they have ever felt alone or like no one understood them. I would then ask who knows what suicide is and why is it and important and sensitive topic.
- After allowing a few students to answer I would then present to them why I believe suicide is an important and sensitive topic to discuss. Then, I would share some suicide-based statistics.
- After that I’d explain how mental health and suicide awareness play hand and hand and how a lot of people carry out suicide because they feel alone in this world. Lastly, I would discuss what W.A.F is and how we are a resource and support for those who ever feel alone.
- I would first establish that this is a safe space for everyone and that the topics we are going to be discussing are very serious and will be uncomfortable but are important. That would be for elementary, middle, and high school.
- Then for elementary, I would play some videos that I have seen that explain the topic of suicide very well so it could be easier to understand then give my take on the matter. For middle school, I would also show them a video as well then number them off and break them out into groups and have them talk about what they saw and their takes on it. Then have them all come back and discuss amongst everyone. For high school students, I would find common ground about something they have seen like maybe the show 13 reasons why or a book, and talk about how suicide played out in those instances and get more in-depth about how to prevent actions like these to happen.
- I would close it off with who. We Are Finesse, is what the program is here for and anyone can be a part of it.
- Three things I would tell middle school children are to always tell someone they trust how they are feeling. It's a good idea to check in with a friend, teacher, or family member to make sure you're not dealing with anything on your own.
- I would also advise you to keep yourself active outside of school, whether through sports, campus groups, or hobbies. This will keep you occupied and allow you to accomplish activities that make you happy, ensuring that you do not feel lonely.
- Finally, I would advise you to discover good coping mechanisms for your feelings. It's vital to have a healthy method of coping with things, therefore I recommend writing, painting, and listening to music, among other things.
Three things I would say to all of the groups:
- (Letting them know they're not alone) I just want you all to know that you are not alone, that you are never alone, and you should never feel like you are and the reason that is, is because I am here for you. We are here for you, the people that love and care about you are here for you and even when it feels like they aren't even when you do feel alone, I still want you to know and remember that we're here, always.
- (Helping them understand we are a support group/safe space). For anyone who's going through something, struggling, or even needs to get something off your chest I want you all to know that it's okay to confine in me or someone you trust because that's what I'm here for, that's what WE'RE here for. We're here to support you every step of the way no matter what, we are your safe space whenever you need us :)
- (Offer/inform them of beneficial resources (including ours). For anyone who needs help, resources, or someone to talk to, feel free to reach out to us! (Proceed to offer/inform them of safe space resources, whatever ours may be).