Categorized | NFTY-SW

NFTY-SW: Discussing Teenage Suicide

By Miranda Rosen

SW post its“You can do this.” “You’re beautiful.” “You’re loved.”
Anonymous notes from anonymous people, yet everything they are saying is true.

Life gets busy. Life gets hard. Life gets monotonous. And before we know it, life seems to just pass us by as we’re one day closer to that next event, or even one day closer to graduation. We sometimes get so caught up in stress and work and anxiety that we seem to forget what life is all about.

At NFTY-SW’s Fall Kallah, we tackled a tough issue—the reality of suicide, and suicide prevention. We met in groups and discussed our flaws and our attributes, what makes us happy and what makes us less happy, how we deal with joy, and how we deal with pain—and after this, we did something else; we wrote on sticky notes.

Now, it may seem silly—to write messages on sticky notes—but it truly is not. Sometimes, as I stated earlier, life gets busy, and we forget to tell someone how much they mean to us. We forget that everyone has a struggle, and as much as you need a friend, they need one too—that’s why these sticky notes work so well. In one line, you can make someone’s day brighter. In one line, you can make someone feel loved.

What I got out of this program was to deal with suicide not with a frown, but prevent it with a smile, or even a sticky note. Love is the best weapon you can have against sadness, and love is what we are taught in NFTY. It is only with love and acceptance of others that we can truly be able to combat suicide, stigmas against mental illnesses, and stereotypes against people who are already struggling.

It is love that can truly save a life.

So the next time you are sitting at your desk stressing out about your next exam or report due, take a minute and grab a sticky note next to you. Write it to someone you feel needs a little love—a friend, a family member, or even yourself. Give it to them the next time you see them, or even hide it in their bag so they find it later and smile. The only way that you can combat sadness, is by passing forward a bit of sunshine.
“You can do this.” “You’re beautiful.” “You’re loved.”

These simple words can honestly change a life.

——

By Anna Isenberg

SW post it 2Suicide, it’s something people don’t tend to talk about, it’s taboo almost, but in reality suicide needs to be talked about, especially within the teenage age group. During NFTY-SW Fall-Kallah, we participated in a program on suicide prevention.  At first we walked into a dark room and we all had glow-sticks with different colors, each representing a statistic. It was intense seeing what the statistics of teen suicide were when represented by something tangible, our NFTY friends.

We then split into grades and gender and talked self-esteem. We were given coffee filters and washable markers, and were asked to write down one thing that we were insecure about, then the group leader handed us permanent markers and told us to write down what we liked about ourselves. One by one we dunked the coffee filters in a jug of water and watched the bad things wash away and the important, good things stay. It was powerful seeing this jug of water, filled with an ugly brownish red color, that was all of our insecurities.

I really liked the program it made me realize the realities of teenage suicide, and how through NFTY we are not alone, I feel that during that program the 11th grade girls became closer and more connected, something that I value and hope happens more and more as we become a tight knit senior class next year.

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