LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month and one school went above and beyond this week.
A new program at Robinson High School, known as SPA or Suicide Prevention Awareness, educated students and faculty on this national issue.
Madison Scott, a clinical therapist for Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas at Robinson High School thought of the idea five years ago and it was finally brought to life this week.
"Each day we had a different theme and a different topic as far as to prevent suicide and bring awareness to that topic," she said.
Scott said it was five days full of education, discussion and activities to start the conversation.
"This word needs to get out. It needs to be talked about, it's a heavy topic," she said.
The program has different themes each day - ranging from neon to twin day.
Scott said it puts this difficult topic in a whole new light.
"It's just a way that we can talk about the subject without making it so dark and gloomy," she said.
The events consisted of:
- Monday: "Stop Bullying," where students wore red to represent their support to stop bullying.
- Tuesday: "Crazy Socks" to show all of the things students juggle within their life.
- Wednesday: "Neon Colors" to show that everyone and anyone can be the light.
- Thursday: "Twin Thursday" to emphasize that everyone needs support.
- Friday: "Out of the Darkness Walk" where students dressed in different colors that represented different meanings. Purple means they lost a relative to suicide, green means they personally struggle with thoughts of suicide, blue means they support the cause and yellow means they have friends or family members who struggle with thoughts of suicide.
The impact this week made on the students at Robinson is undeniable.
"That's a life. Each life is valuable in their own way, so thinking about the people around me like that, it's real. It happens and it's scary," Gavin Glasgow, Robinson High School senior, said.
On Friday morning over 700 high school students walked the perimeter of Robinson High School while they all participated in the last event of the week.
"I think it's making more kids aware that this is something serious, this is really happening," Emmerson Jasper, Robinson High School senior, said.
All the students took steps together to show that no one is alone.
"Everybody goes through it. It's not anything weird or unnormal of anybody," Myah Moreland, Robinson High School junior, said.
Glasgow, Jasper and Moreland all reflected on the school's suicide prevention awareness week and how important it has been to start these difficult conversations.
This is a topic that hits home differently for each of these students.
Glasgow watched his good friends struggle after they lost one of their best friends.
"It's just so much more closer to my heart, just because of the way I have seen it has affected my classmates and people around me," he said.
Jasper said this week impacted her in ways she never would've thought.
"Sometimes I feel worthless too and like seeing those videos makes me realize that my life is precious," she said.
Moreland lost her cousin to suicide and wishes he could've heard these words.
"I wish he would've known that he wasn't alone and that if he could've talked to somebody about it. It would've saved his life," she said.
Any high schools wanting to replicate this program can reach out to Robinson High School and ask for Madison Scott.
Families or individuals who are struggling with mental health or behavioral issues can contact Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas here.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.