Friday, Aug. 12, 2022 |
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KAPAA — The Kapaa High School Peer Mediation Club wants people to know they do not have to face depression alone.
Keith Kitamura, adviser for the Peer Mediation Club, said students vowed to raise suicide awareness among the Kapaa High School population, and the community, after learning of a recent incident.
Peer Mediation students armed themselves with suicide awareness brochures and “Pledge to Save a Life” poster boards, securing signatures from students and teachers on Thursday and Friday.
“It is a promise to speak up and get help for someone, if they are in need,” Kitamura said. “The students are out on campus to reach out to every student with suicide awareness brochures, asking and answering questions students may have, providing resources for help, and also by assisting students to get help for themselves or for a friend.”
Kitamura said there are many factors which lead young people to suicide, including social media in which have people lurk and encourage others to kill themselves.
The Peer Mediation Club’s campaign aims to raise awareness about suicide and illustrate how each person can help change things.
“We have gotten good and positive response to this campaign,” said Katelyn Pagela, a Peer Mediation Club member, Friday after their lunch-break journey around the KHS campus. “There are a lot of pledges, and I think we really make a difference in helping curb suicide among young people.”
Pagela said when she met a person who considered suicide, “I let that person talk about the problem. After hearing the circumstances, and letting the person talk, everything was going to be alright because no matter how depressed a person can be, there are so many more things to be happy about.”
The experience led her to be enthusiastic about the Peer Mediation Club’s efforts.
“Suicide awareness is one step toward ending suicide,” Pagela said.
Ayahna Mack is another Peer Mediation Club student who is familiar with suicide.
“I met at least one person in high school who was really depressed,” Mack said. “After listening, I told that person, ‘We’re here to help you. No one should have to go through depression alone.’”
She said there are a lot of people who have hard times in life.
“There is support out there,” Mack said. “There is help — just a phone call away. You are not alone.”
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