REDMOND, OR -- Students at Redmond High School took part in a special suicide prevention training Tuesday. Two public sessions of “Question, Persuade, Refer” were also offered to get more people equipped to help kids in crisis.
An RHS student took his own life in December, but Principal Paul Nolan says that tragedy was only part of the reason for the event. "Our students share with us that they’re hearing things; parents share with us that they’re hearing things. It’s almost a daily occurrence. And, if we can train people on how to have those conversations, we can make our communities a lot safer." He says students' lives continue outside school walls, and everyone needs to be watching for signs someone needs help. "We have had several instances where someone will let us know the next day that they saw something the evening before - Social media, texting, something said something at an event about harming themselves. And, we really can’t wait." Nolan tells KBND News, the “if you see something, say something” rule applies to all school safety concerns, including suicide, "If you don’t know what to do, contact law enforcement. They can help."
For many kids considering suicide, Nolan says realizing people will listen and help makes a big difference. "For someone to get to the point where they are considering hurting themselves or killing themselves, there’s a lot going on and that’s a very painful place to be. So, we want to provide support ongoing, whatever that looks like, to help that person get through that. And they do. We have a lot of people in our community and at our school that have been in that place. And, because someone cared and took those steps, they’re in a much better place now."
Nolan plans to organize more sessions of Question, Persuade, Refer: A Training in Suicide Prevention in the future, "We’re not the organization that’s offering these types of trainings, it’s just, we know that it’s important to give as many opportunities as possible." To hear our full conversation with Principal Paul Nolan click HERE or visit our Podcast Page.