The student news site of Oakton High School

Oakton Outlook

The student news site of Oakton High School

Oakton Outlook

The student news site of Oakton High School

Oakton Outlook

Suicide Prevention Month

What OHS did to observe this holiday

Suicide Prevention Month is a worldwide event to memorialize the lives lost to suicide and promote awareness against it. This national observance occurred on Sunday, September 10th – Saturday, September 16th, 2023. As we take a closer look at what Oakton did to support this special time, we can also find out more about Suicide Prevention Month and why it’s so important.  

You may have noticed the blue and purple ribbons attached to student’s backpacks across school. These ribbons, along with little cards, were handed out at lunch during Suicide Prevention Month. Ms. Vilbas, one of the counselors here at Oakton, was in charge of the distribution: “September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and the counseling team wanted to bring awareness to the students,” she said when asked about these pins, “The goal with the pins was for students to wear them or put them on their backpacks. This would hopefully prompt other students to ask questions about it, and this would spread awareness.” The pins are both a decorative and easy way to increase the knowledge of Suicide Prevention Month throughout the community. However, pins are sharp objects and present a hazard, especially when passed out in honor of a holiday observed to prevent suicide. The general idea of a possibly dangerous pin is a little ironic. When asked about this, Ms. Vilbas responded with “I hadn’t really thought about that, and I think it’s a good perspective to look at. It’s definitely something to keep in mind, and the safety of the students is definitely our top priority. We will keep that in mind next year.” 

photo credit from Elsie Anderson

As well as handing out ribbons, the counseling department gave out little cards with various mental health hotlines printed on. These benefit students because they grant easier access to help for those who need it. Ms. Vilbas explained the significance of these hotlines: “Those are the hotlines that FCPS uses across the county, and so those are the ones we put on there.” She later added, “Just last year, the county created a website with suicide prevention resources, and those same resources are on the card.” Some of these hotlines include the CrisisLink Regional Hotline (703-527-4077), the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE), and CrisisText (Text NEEDHELP to 85511). These hotlines are also on the backs of the student IDs, which were issued to each student on picture day.

 

Suicide prevention month is a very important time of remembrance, and Oakton High School did a good job of highlighting that these last couple of weeks. Students received decorative, meaningful pins and learned important hotlines for those who may be struggling. Furthermore, the counseling team did an excellent job of spreading awareness throughout the school, and hopefully, we were all able to recognize and appreciate the importance of this holiday.

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About the Contributor
Elsie Anderson, Staff Writer
Hi! I’m Elsie, and I’m a freshman here at OHS. This is my first year writing for the Oakton newspaper, and I’m very happy to be a part of the journalism team this year. I enjoy writing, singing, hanging out with friends, and listening to Taylor Swift! I am really excited to be part of the team, and look forward to an awesome year of writing for you!