LoveIt: Suicide on Campus
High school students Kat, Kimberly, and Alex, with the help of another student, Stan, created a video on emotional insecurities that stressed the following message: Love life; love others; love you. Being able to tell their own stories about suicide on camera, they encouraged others to address their mental health issues, too.
The video received wide support, going on to be shown in high schools in Ohio, Kansas, Mexico, and Germany. The three students are all now freshman in college. Alex and Kat want to become psychologists; Kimberly wants to become a psychiatric nurse. All three have worked as crisis hotline interventionists.
The Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) Health Professions Affinity Community (HPAC) program gives high school and middle school students like Kat, Kimberly and Alex a chance to explore health care fields in an underserved area, learning about others as well as themselves. HPAC works with AmeriCorps to recruit students into the program.
Students choose an issue that affects the community and work together to find ways to provide solutions to this issue. Students gain grant-writing skills by writing mini-grant proposals to gain funding for the project.
“Students are never told what to pick, but they often choose an issue that is close to their heart that they can be passionate about,” said Valerie Beutel, director of AmeriCorps. For Kat, Kimberly and Alex, that certainly was the case.
For more information about HPAC or how to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read additional pieces in the series:
- A Student’s Perspective
- New Funding, New Awareness
- Mental Health Movements
- Being a Friend in Crisis