A real account of suicide and a message of hope to help bring the discussion of suicide out of the shadows.
That’s what Moline High School health classes are learning.
Lisa Lehr is a trained educator with Clinton County’s Speak Out Against Suicide.
Since last fall, Lehr has traveled extensively to discuss suicide awareness and prevention.
As the first-period sophomore health classes take their seats…
Suicide Awareness and Prevention Educator Lisa Lehr said, “Take one of these and pass it back please.”
The lesson for Wednesday is one about real life.
Lehr said, “He did write a suicide note, and he laid out the clothes that he wanted to be buried in, and he took his own life in his bedroom.”
The story Lisa Lehr tells is one she lived after losing her high school boyfriend Todd to suicide and the years of struggling with depression that followed.
Lehr said, “I became very suicidal at one point, and I had to be hospitalized.”
The students are wrapping up a unit on depression, mental health and suicide, and for teachers, it is helping to cement what pupils are learning.
MHS Health Teacher Sarah Fetter said, “How we can help our friends and family members and even complete strangers that we see that you know are acting out of the norm.”
Lehr has been speaking to hundreds of students in the past few months because she says the significance of this discussion is lifesaving.
Lehr said, “It’s just a hard age to live in right now. A lot of things have changed over the years. Social media, a lot of pressure.”
Part of the goal for Lehr is when the class is dismissed, she can help clear away some of the stigma and misinformation.
Lehr said, “It’s a myth if you talk about it with the person it’s going to plant the idea in their head.”
And with her own experience, show there is hope.
Lehr “Hold On because the Pain can End.”