Bill would require teacher training in suicide prevention

By ANGIE BOYNTON, Student Correspondent, Granite State News Collaborative

AMHERST – More than 3,000 U.S. high-school-aged kids attempt suicide every day, on average.

In recent decades, youth suicide has grown to become an epidemic, with statistics showing we lose more teenagers and young adults to suicide than cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, strokes, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease combined. Suicide affects more than just one victim; it affects friends, family, coworkers, classmates and teachers.

Like most things, it is hard to spot mental illness or suicidal behavior if you have no experience or knowledge of the signs and symptoms. Which is why NH House Bill 652, if it becomes law, will require the New Hampshire State Board of Education to mandate annual suicide prevention training for teachers and administrators in public schools.

Read the whole story in The Laconia Daily Sun and then share your thoughts at Citizens Count

A Child's Silent Scream

“You’ve heard the stories about soldiers who come back from war with PTSD. And that’s usually what we think of when we hear ‘PTSD’ But that’s not what I think of. I think of myself. My life story is not what you’d expect from a 16-year-old girl.”

Watch Souhegan High School student Meredith Lyttle short film, “A Child’s Silent Scream,” created in partnership with the Granite State News Collaborative student engagement project.

Souhegan Highlights Mental Health Solutions at Wellness Day

Campfire Sing Along.jpeg

Friday, January 25, 2019 marks the first-ever Souhegan High School Wellness Day. Wellness Day or, #WD2019 is the brainchild of Souegan’s Social Worker Sheelu Joshi Flegal, Dean of Students Kelly Driscoll, and school Psychologist Traci Cote.  

Wellness Day is an entire day which Souhegan will be taking to “talk about finding balance and supporting each other in creating a sense of well-being in our daily lives” The goal of Wellness Day 2019 is to get rid of stigma about mental health and to create an environment in which mental health and self-care are a  prioritization no different from grades or physical health. Students participated in all sorts of activities, ranging from Nordic Skiing, Knitting, meditation, to a singalong complete with s’mores. Read More and watch the student produced video about the event at our partner The SHS Claw, Souhegan’s online Magazine.

Souhegan High School Launches GSNC Pilot Student Project

The stories in this blog are being produced as part of The Granite State News Collaborative’s student journalism training pilot program. GSNC has partnered with Souhegan High School journalists and advisor Adam Theriault to produce a series of stories and engagement events that will dig deeper into solutions proposed to help youth and adolescents with addiction and mental health issues.

The students will contribute original reporting, videos, photos and audio stories to GSNC’s inaugural Granite Solutions project. To do that, they will  spend the next three months not only learning how to be even better journalists, but they will also be presenting material from an angle of the behavioral health crises in New Hampshire that often gets overlooked: what it looks like through the eyes of a young person.

Their stories will be posted here, on Souhegan’s online student magazine The SHS Claw, and on our partner sites throughout the duration of the project.

CAST to Hold Substance Abuse Discussion and NARCAN Training

By Seth Facey

SHS Correspondent

Granite State News Collaborative

Community Action for Safe Teens (CAST) is holding a community conversation on mental health and substance abuse on January 8th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Boys and Girls Club of Souhegan Valley. A NARCAN training will also be provided to attendees. The community conversation is for 18 to 21 year olds who live in the Souhegan Valley area. 

CAST is working to combat the pressing issue of the opioid crisis and are  “focused on solutions” in solving the problems of addiction.  The young adult listening session will include a dissection and discussion of the data collected from the 2017 Youth Risk and Behavior Survey from 2017 and 2018. The session will “look for root causes and local conditions” in terms of statistics on drug and alcohol use in the Souhegan Valley.

The community conversation is open to young adults who live in the Souehgan Valley area and that are between the ages of 18 to 21 years old. During the forum, there will be time for the community members to share their experiences and thoughts on drugs and alcohol in high school.

Monica Gallant, director Prevention Services at the Boys and Girls Club of Souhegan Valley said, “we’re looking at underage drinking, prescription drug misuse, marijuana use, and vaping and asking them why it’s here, why are kids using it, and then why here, what are the specific reasons?”

Additionally, there will also be training on how to administer NARCAN which is a nasal spray that can be “used for the treatment of an opioid emergency or a possible opioid overdose with signs of breathing problems and severe sleepiness or not being able to respond.” CAST will provide  the trainees with NARCAN to have in the case of an emergency.

Jace Troie, CAST Coalition Coordinator, said, “we are looking forward to holding a high school community conversation for teenagers in the near future.”   Troie emphasized that “we really need their voices” and to “tell them that we’ll have pizza” at the listening session on January 8th.