CHS brings conversation of suicide awareness to light
Last week, Choctaw High School celebrated “Light Week” in an effort to show students that “it’s okay to not be okay.”
The goal of the week was to bring the conversation of suicide awareness into the light and promote positivity throughout the CHS campus.
September is National Recovery Month, and Choctaw’s Light Week coincided with National Suicide Prevention Week.
Every year almost 45,000 people take their own lives in the United States, and Oklahoma has the eighth-highest suicide rate in the country.
An Oklahoman, on average, takes their own life every 11 hours, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
“After seeing the impact that suicide has had on our community and school the counseling office asked if we would have the conversation that no one was having,” said CHS Student Council President Jayke Flaggert.
“We want to show students that they are our ‘light’ and that awareness saves lives. Everyone has problems, it’s a part of being humans. We want to show students that they’re not alone in their struggles.”
A week of festivities was coordinated by the CHS Student Council and involved efforts of groups and organizations throughout the district.
Projects included themes for each day and providing a “You’re Not Alone Box,” “Hope Floats,” “Random Acts of Kindness,” elementary school visitors, light bracelets, therapy dogs and more.
The “You’re Not Alone Box” where students could anonymously submit their problems into the translucent box to show that everyone has problems and students may have more in common with each other than they think.
Tuesday, National Honor Society members gave away free soda floats during both high school lunches.
James Griffith Intermediate and Westfall Elementary students were on campus Wednesday handing out stickers with encouraging messages.
On Thursday students were welcomed to school with a special cheer.
Therapy dogs and trainers were on campus Friday during fourth hour, and an advocacy walk followed around the high school that evening.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., and the second for ages 15-34.
If you think a friend or family member is a danger to themselves or others, call 9-1-1.
If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.