Suicide Prevention and Awareness Week


Hanna La Londe, Writer/Photographer

Suicide is the third leading cause for death in teens. The West community has one week a year dedicated to spreading information to prevent suicide and make students aware of those who may be suicidal.

Every morning during the week of September 8-12 a class officer from each grade read a fact and then gave advice about suicide.

All of the freshmen attended a mandatory assembly during seminar about suicide prevention. Videos were shown that featured young people who attempted to commit suicide and failed. They learned how valuable their life was and were glad to be alive. However, one video featured a mother and friends of a girl who committed suicide in high school due to bullying.

In fall of 2011 a senior at West, Tom Karlin, took his life. Now his father Joe Karlin, who spoke at West on Thursday, visits schools and talks about suicide prevention and signs to look out for in peers. Along with friends and family, Joe Karlin set up the Tom Karlin Foundation to raise awareness about suicide in young adults. The foundation has the Twitter handle @TalkListenACT.

The Tom Karlin Foundation also has an annual Ultimate Frisbee Tournament which will be held on September 28. Visit to sign up to play and learn more about suicide prevention.

Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255