Ignoring it won’t make it go away

Suicide awareness can begin with a simple question

More stories from Shaun M.


Photo by Fetraniaina Anatii Killahr from Pexels

Depression has many faces. Don’t assume that because a person “looks” a certain way that they have no problems. Take time to show you care.

Many kids have trouble with depression and suicidal thoughts. A lot of adults think that kids don’t get depression and suicidal thoughts but we actually do. Sadly we lose over 800,000 people world wide a year from suicide according to the World Health Organization. Amiah Starkes, an 8th grader at ROMS, had some insight about suicide awareness. Here is what she has to say about it.

Shaun: What do you think kids our age struggle with the most?
Amiah: I think many people our age struggle with finding themselves and the expectations they face in the world. They think they have to be perfect because that’s what our parents make it seem like. Like we have to be a certain way. So most people our age I think just hide themselves so much to where they don’t even know who they are. And I know some people could think that they aren’t even living, that they’re just walking around in someone else’s shoes and that’s very upsetting to me.

Shaun: Do you think our classmates really talk about their problems?
Amiah: No I don’t think many talk about their problems. Some of them could be afraid of what others could think or they just don’t trust anyone. And I know one of my issues with talking about my problems is feeling like a burden. But I just don’t think we feel supported or cared for in this generation no matter how much someone says they care. And that’s a real problem.

Shaun: Can you tell me about a time when you or someone you care about considered suicide or hurting themselves?
Amiah: Uh yeah. I’ve been dealing with that for a couple of years myself and I never really had anyone to talk to about it. I was very depressed and still am. [Earlier this school year] I got into a very bad and sad argument with my parents. It made me very sad and uncertain about my life, and that’s when I thought about it. But soon I started reading and writing, and it’s really been helping with me cope with my issues.

Shaun: If you could tell parents or guardians something they could do to help their kids overcome depression or feelings of sadness, what would you tell them?
Amiah: What I want to tell parents about helping their kids is to just care and show it because saying it won’t make any difference. I also think parents could ask their children how their day was and just let them know that they’re there for them because when they’re just at work and we understand their tired but we really just want them to understand and care for us.

There you have it, Hawk Fam! One brave eighth grader’s perspective. We believe she’s not the only person who is feeling these things.

If you or someone you know is considering hurting themselves, please get help. You do not have to be ashamed. You do not have to stay silent. Contact our ROMS Crisis Counselor (Benton), or call 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.