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“Why I Stayed”

This article discusses suicide. If you or any loved ones are considering self-harm, reach out to a trusted adult, a school counselor, visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ for resources, or call 1-800-273-8255. You are loved, you are capable of amazing things, and you will always be enough.

At such a time of mental and physical stress, as well as isolation and uncertainty, Suicide Prevention Month is more important than ever. 

Heightened anxiety, depression, instability, and isolation lead people to consider suicide—all of which have been heightened in the wake of social unrest and the coronavirus pandemic that we’ve experienced in the past months. Quarantining and social distancing disrupt normalcy, and create “psychological fear” and feelings of “being trapped” and alone. 

Mental health consequences of the pandemic are predicted to extend and peak long after the disease itself does; so, now more than ever it’s critical we continue reaching out, connecting, checking on our peers and loved ones, and holding fast to every ounce of light and joy that gives us the power to keep on going. 

In this anonymous poll, fellow Hawks who have considered suicide shared their reasons for why they stayed. 

“Because my cat would look for me and not know or understand where I went.”

“It has been really rough for me since I started high school, but thanks to my parents and close friends I am still here today.”

“Because someone finally believed me.”

“I still consider suicide every day, but the mental cost it would have on my family and how sad my mom and dad would be makes me stay. Plus I think funerals are expensive.”

“For my parents. I’m no longer living for other people, but at the time it was all for my mom.”

“So hopefully one day I could see it all get better.”

“To give a reason for my friends that were like me to stay. Kind of like a pact to stay alive.”

“I’m finding new reasons everyday.”

“I thought that my dog would miss me.”

“This is so ridiculous and seems extremely shallow. But someone said they liked my hair. That’s all it took that day.”

“My mom would be sad.”

“I imagined someone telling my dad the news, or someone finding the body.”

“Guilt.”

“[I know] that if I go, I’ll never have the chance to prove myself and achieve my dreams.”

“My dog wouldn’t have known where I went, and would be waiting for me to come home.”

“BTS.”

“All in the name of discovering and re-discovering music that makes my heart full.”

“For my family.”

“Pure spite, anger, and determination made me stay.”

“God kept me here. I didn’t know it was Him though until years later, though.”

For every day a fellow Hawk feels like a force to be reckoned with, there are just as many days where they feel helpless. Hawk Pride goes beyond joyful noise and choruses of cheering. It’s just as present, and just as powerful in quiet moments of reassurance that convince people to keep going. Check on your friends, support your classmates, and remember your own worth. Hang in there Hawks. You are so loved.

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