Young People's Emotions: Who Cares?

Chances are, if you ask your teachers for help in sorting out your feelings, they'll tell you to get over it.Because when it comes to dealing with depression and suicidal feelings, some schools just don't want to go there.

"I don't think [my school addresses depression]. My school sort of pushed me away and tried to keep me quiet when I was like that," said ChickClicker cute sarbear.

Because schools haven't figured out what kinds of suicide prevention programs work, at-risk kids are struggling to deal with suicidal thoughts without much help.There is hope: thanks to the Children's Health Act that President Clinton signed on Oct. 17, schools could get $75 million for suicide education and prevention programs. But for some teens, it's too late.

Nowhere to turn?

"F*** school counselors! When my sister finally decided to open up about what was going on they told her she was just having a bad day, that things would get better and not to feel sorry for herself. They said she was being selfish, so she wrote a letter saying 'I think I'll not be selfish anymore or a burden.'

We all thought she had run away, but the next morning my dad walked to the side of the yard to find her body laying on the train tracks cut in half." --beth

"I don't like counselors. They're suppose[d] to help people, but instead, they make you feel worse. And a lot of people say that what we feel is not stress and that we're just trying to get attention. Some people don't even realize they're stressed." --Cecily

"It has happened to a lot of kids at our school and most teachers just act like nothing is going on. Every year it seems to get worse." --candy_heart

"We have counselors, but they're for courses and stuff. There are a couple teachers we can go to, though." --ditzy16

Ignore it, and it'll go away

"I'm not sure if our school system focuses too much on depression because they're so worried about violence and drugsif our school took the time to study some of its students, they would realize what problems we have." --Elizabeth

"In a small city like mine, the high school never really addresses depression or suicide. Last year a very kind, smart kid killed himself. Nobody knew why. The only thing my school did was post a few numbers that we could call if we, too, decided we wanted to die." --Mack

"No, in my school they never talk about it. It's like, taboo. I think they may make a mention of it but there's nothing there to help anyone.

The only thing I've heard about it in school is: 'Don't do it. It's bad.' And that's suppose[d] to help people who are depressed and want to die?" --Jennifer

Schools can't do it all

"The school shouldn't teach kids anything about how to live their lives. I think it's the parents who need to be educated on how to teach their children self-esteem. I think it's just the other kids who cause [depression]idiot preps and their exclusion of everyone not like them" --jemmreject

"Personally, I'm in a depression and have been for a while. I cut myself and I can't handle stress very well. We have group meetings for messed up kids like me, but I don't go. I think counseling should be one-on-one." --Mack

Some schools get it right

"In the last two weeks, there were two suicides in my school. At first I thought my school was not doing anything but soon I realized I was wrong. They offered counseling for anyone having problems and came out and told people what terrible damage people caused by [killing themselves].

I think my school made a five-star effort to do their best to prevent any more suicides. My English teacher reminded us of a poem that says 'no man is an island entirely to himself.'" --Kando


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