On Sept. 29, tragedy struck Arapahoe High School when a senior boy was pronounced dead and the cause was determined to be suicide. Four days later, on Oct. 2, tragedy struck once more when a senior girl was also pronounced dead due to suicide.
Arapahoe High School then closed on Oct. 3, letting the students have a day to spend time with friends and family and grieve without the stress of school, as well as canceling the varsity football team’s game against Cherry Creek the following Friday.
Not only did this event affect Arapahoe but the surrounding communities such as Highlands Ranch. Whenever someone in the community takes their own life, it can impact everyone around them such as fellow classmates and even friends of those classmates. Friends such as Camille Neu, junior at Highlands Ranch High School. “ It breaks my heart to know that kids are so unhappy, that they believe there is nothing else they can do,” said Camille Neu. “Watching how it affected them affected me.”
According to DoSomething, around ⅔ of suicide victims are depressed at the time of their death. It’s hard to determine the difference between depressed and suicidal kids, said Yana Bourdelais, counselor at HR. There is such a thin line that the only sure way to know is to speak up and tell someone if you or someone else are having suicidal thoughts. “If you hear something, say something,” said Bourdelais.
Suicide, although a heavy topic, is not one that can be ignored. According to the Colorado Health Institute, Colorado is ranked in the top ten states with the highest suicide rates. Colorado also had a record number of suicides in 2017 of 1,175 people.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please go to a trusted adult, call the National Suicide Prevention Line 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), or if needed call 9-1-1 and authorities to assist.