Most people do not realize how the access to mental health treatment is different in every state. In Washington State, their public schools have psychologists and mental health counselors on staff for students to utilize when they are in need of services. This is certainly a great addition for students to have greater access to care. How did the state determine this would be an effective way to help students in need. Unlike Washington State residents, those living in Florida over 3,000 miles away have a more challenging time assessing care, especially if their on Medicaid.
No one likes to hear about teen suicide, but avoiding the occurrence do not help bring awareness to such an important topic. This is a tragedy that hits too close to home. This teen was a local football star and the mass amount of pressure was overwhelming him to the point he grew tired and eventually lost hope. Sometimes anxiety leads to depression as a person can only take so much for so long. It really has me thinking that if he had greater access to care starting in his school would he have had the services he needed to make it through such a tough time in his life.
Suicides are preventable, as in they do not have to happen. We can all help by being kind to others and always asking someone if they're okay. Showing empathy and compassion can sometimes go a long way. I wish I could have helped him. It's time we all do our part and spread mental health awareness all year long.
Felicia Turner, APRN