By Asmita Saha
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide causes about one death every eleven minutes in the United States. The Department of Health and Human Services implemented a new three-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which will eventually become a successor to the existing lifeline. The number will allow individuals to call, online chat or text trained mental health professionals.
“Regarding the change in the hotline’s number and counselors, I hope it will improve in helping the individuals who call the number. A few people I know have gone through bad experiences with the hotline and were put on hold while being in emotional distress or talking with people that didn’t help,” freshman Christine Wang said.
The new 988 number transition will give individuals access to trained crisis counselors. Counselors will have the ability to direct local care to the person reaching out. Along with the new lifeline number, mobile mental health crisis teams will aid those who are in psychological distress.
At New Hyde Park Memorial High School, clubs work to improve the mental health of students and teach healthy coping mechanisms to their members during meetings. The Glad Circle and Students Against Destructive Decisions aim to help students process and speak about issues or causes that are important to them.
The Glad Circle, founded this school year, creates a safe space for students to talk about their mental health in a destigmatized space. Club members form a community and bond over different coping mechanisms along with their shared struggles. The club also holds meetings every other week where students teach each other and discuss different mental health topics.
“From topics such as bettering self-esteem to dealing with stress, to the importance of leadership, we bring awareness to mental health and work to better it," Glad Circle co-founder sophomore Grace Heskial said. "Members are able to share how they feel, learn from others that they are not alone in their struggles, gain and share different ways of coping and come out with a renewed perspective on how to manage their struggles.”
Source from Grace Heskial
Glad Circle aims to spread kindness through working on collaborative and creative activities.
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) is a national organization with an NHP Memorial chapter. The organization works to improve the lives of its members through awareness about drugs, alcohol use and underage drinking.
“We touch upon real-life problems and have great conversations. Although there are only a few members now, I can’t wait to see this club flourish and meet its highest potential,” SADD secretary junior Julia Esposito said.