GALLIA COUNTY — Local high school students want to make a difference for their classmates struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.
Students from Gallia Academy, South Gallia, and River Valley worked together under the direction and coordination of Abby Whitt, a teacher at River Valley Middle School.
“Last August I met with Kelly Bonice out at Rio Grande and she showed me a video the university students had done and I thought it would be neat if the students of our high schools could come together and make a video similar to that,” said Whitt. “So I reached out to Mike Thompson, who without hesitation donated his time and his skills to making the video for us.”
Whitt then recruited students from all three schools to fill roles in the video, that was written and edited to encourage students to care for their peers, and for young people to reach out when they need help, similar to the video that Bonice had shown Whitt.
“Our video is similar to theirs, but it is very different. Ours I think, relates a little more to teens than theirs would have. It has their peers in it and they are going to pay more attention to their peers than to someone they don’t know,” said Whitt.
The plan for the video, which is already live on Youtube, is to be shown to every student in Gallia County. Each school will determine how to present it, although Whitt would like to see classes show the video and have discussions about the content.
“I participated in the video because preventing the pain and sadness suicide causes is very important,” said Josh Faro, junior at GAHS.
“I participated in the video because it’s a topic very relevant today. Suicide is something that happens so much, but we don’t see enough information talking about suicide including ways to approach the conversation, and ways to prevent suicide,” said Madison Tabor, senior at RVHS. “The way suicide has touched our community is immense and anyway we can be a part of slowing it down, we should jump at that opportunity.”
“I hope the video encourages people to be kind, to be thoughtful, and to check on their friends and family. I hope it reaches someone who feels like they can’t go on, and it gives them the strength to reach out for help,” said Whitt. “Because help is available.”
The video can be found on Youtube by searching “Suicide Prevention Video (Gallia County Schools).”
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.