If you’ve ever read or listened to anything by Seth Godin you know he has a knack for asking thought provoking questions, and challenging conventional wisdom. As such, he recently did a three part series on his Akimbo podcast about what school is for that I found fascinating. Hope they make you stop and think too.
“As someone who has suffered from severe depression, I can assure you that while you may think life is precious, to someone who suffers from mental illness, life is painful. It’s easy for those of you who don’t suffer from these things to say life has value, but to someone who suffers every day, there appears to be only two choices at times: continue suffering, or end the suffering (often via suicide). I know that sounds probably weird to normal people, but that’s the way suicidal people think” – Quote from HS student shared in a Hope Squad meeting
That’s from an article my sister brought to my attention about what a mother and father are doing to help fight suicide and mental illness after they lost their 15 year old to suicide in 2015.
The organization is is called the Hope Squad and traces its beginnings back to 1998. That’s the year police asked Greg Hudnall, who was then a high school principal, to identify the body of a 14-year-old who had killed himself in the public park next to his school.
“I actually had to move the body to identify him. And afterwards I walked to my car, and I literally threw up and sobbed,” he said. “I mean this was an amazing young man.”
Hudnall vowed then to do anything he could to help prevent suicide in his Provo City School District of 14,000 students.
Now, I think it’s time for us to bring the Hope Squad program to all the school districts in and around Lansing.
Have you ever lost a loved one to suicide or know someone who has? Then you know how it can shatter a person, a family, and maybe even yourself. I lost my older brother to suicide just before my 21st birthday, and I’ve always wanted to do more. To know that maybe I helped even one person to hold on.
Please share this article or any of the resources in it with your superintendent, principles, and school board. (see below for links)