Suicide is not a topic that is easily discussed, especially with older generations. Often, people are dealing with strong feelings of depression and/or suicidal thoughts, and their family and friends have no idea how to combat this issue. I have had the opportunity to help reduce the stigma surrounding suicide and open up the discussion between my peers and adults.
For the past two years, I have been working with my school’s Sources of Strength program to connect my friends with the help they need and promote positive and inspiring campaigns throughout the school. This opened up a huge opportunity for me to be an even better leader and advocate for suicide prevention.
In May 2019, I was invited to be a part of a group of kids from 7 schools across our district to be in a video educating people about the warning signs of suicide prevention. We got to voice our opinions on how we can make suicide prevention well-known and more effective throughout the district. Our main goal was to create a video in which parents and students alike could better understand ways to talk about suicide within their communities. We took the script given to us and made it our own and filmed a video that inspired me and the kids I was honored to work with.
On September 3, 2019, this video finally premiered. I had no idea how it was going to turn out at first, but I am so glad it turned out the way it did. Its message will help people realize that suicide is something serious that should be tackled in every generation. I hope that this video shares hope, strength, and information that will help our community and many others. As my friend from one of our high schools said: “the only time the district usually gets together is for athletics or competitions”. Getting together to make this beautiful video and meeting so many incredible friends proved that we all truly care about one another.
I hope that you share this video with everyone you know. Everyone across the order deserves to know that they are not alone and can help their loved ones.
Together, we make the difference.
Tess Rittenberg is a BBG from CSGAY BBG #1210 in Rocky Mountain Region and is a choir kid that loves spooey.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
While it’s easy to maintain a strong connection with Judaism in the comfort of your own community, it’s scary to think about what that relationship might be like once you go off on your own.
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