The Talk: A Beginning
January 20, 2017
Kennedy Savage and Nikki Leese used the topic of suicide for their 20% project: the words ‘Suicide Awareness’ were stamped across a blue silicone rubber wristband.
The severity of serious topics such as suicide doesn’t always register with students until it occurs or affects them directly. Suicide is a great example of this. Serious topics often don’t matter, until they matter too much, until they hit too close to home.
Emily M. Spinks, a 15-year-old NCHS sophomore, committed suicide August 23, 2015. Her death affected many people in many different communities: her softball teammates, her middle school classmates spread throughout Unit 5 and other school districts. Emily was a loving daughter, sibling, friend, student and teammate to many.
“Emily Spinks was a close friend of ours, so it was very personal to us and we just kinda took it and ran with it,” senior Kennedy Savage explained.
Nikki and Kennedy went and sold wristbands for $1 and raised over $150. The wrist bands were sold inside and outside of NCHS until the students were sold out of their supply. The money raised was donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Suicide awareness posters have emerged on hallway walls, Suicide Prevention phone numbers have been posted in bathrooms with pull tabs, but the conversation needs to continue – louder and more often.
The blue ink standing out on the otherwise blank white wall, the blue rubber against the wrist of high school students grabs attention. The number of deaths by suicide is larger than anyone wants it to be, larger than it needs to be.
If you are having an issue in the NCHS community or just have the need to express yourself please contact a school counselor, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the school’s Anti-bullying Hotline at 309-285 -8912.