The time is now

It's up to us to show them the way. Image -

With this festive season not being so festive for too many people, I thought it appropriate to share some of Mirjana Stefanovic’s brainstorming ideas combining an educational campaign on suicide prevention and school children. Mirjana has extensive experience dealing with University students and has very coherent thoughts on how this can be broached.

The following are just her notes, but an example of the feedback that comes out of our United Nationalities summits and the potential of us collaborating. #bettertogether

1. Develop a school-wide suicide prevention assembly featuring student speakers who have experienced suicidal thoughts and are now in recovery.

2. Create a peer-led support group for students struggling with mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

3. Launch an online campaign that encourages students to reach out for help if they or someone they know is considering suicide.

4. Offer free mental health screenings to all middle and high schoolers at least once a year

5. Establish special “safe zones” in the hallways of schools where students can go if they need emotional support or just some time away from class

6. Implement curriculums focused on understanding and managing emotions in the classroom setting—especially related to trauma, grief, and loss.

7. Organize student forums where young people can openly discuss their feelings about suicide without judgement or stigma

8. Train school staff and faculty on how to recognize the signs of suicide risk in students

9. Distribute informational pamphlets about suicide prevention throughout the school, including locker rooms, bathrooms, and other high-traffic areas

10. Create a buddy system where older students mentor younger ones who may be struggling with mental health issues

11. Create after-school clubs centred on mental health, such as yoga, meditation, or art therapy

12. Host community events to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and suicide prevention

13. Establish an anonymous hotline that students can call if they need help with their mental wellbeing

14. Work with local organizations to provide free counselling services at schools for those struggling with depression or other issues related to suicide risk

15. Incorporate topics related to suicide prevention into school curriculums, including literature classes and health education courses

16.Provide educational materials on how to recognize signs of suicidal ideation among friends and family members

17. Design campaigns that encourage students to look out for each other’s emotional well-being

18. Offer special workshops focused on teaching coping skills for dealing with stress, sadness, and anxiety

19. Invest in additional resources for counsellors so they can better support students facing tough times

We are already in contact with schools on this very topic, who are very keen to address this situation, which is heart-warming, and a big relief. Please join in our

efforts and encourage your local schools to get involved. Obviously this campaign would benefit people of all ages. If you would like to present your suggestions and / or support please let me know so that we can coordinate forces.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories. Remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.   

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Nicole King

One of Marbella's most glamorous residents, Nicole King offers a taste of the best of what's going on in the Costa del Sol.