[UPDATE No. 3: Another Peterborough high school student writes in to us with this note:
"I am a high school student in Peterborough and I want people to understand something. Mental health is not something that you can just pretend isn't there. It won't go away. If you fall and get a bruise, eventually it will heal, but mental health issues don't 'heal.' Sure maybe they can get better, but they can also get a whole lot worse. It is so easy for someone with mental health problems to feel completely alone, abandoned, misunderstood. As it says in one of my favourite poems about dealing with mental health 'and unless you've been through it, you wouldn't stand a chance.' That's so true. You wouldn't stand a chance understanding or living what people go through when they are dealing with mental health. I always thought, why is it that if a child came to school with a broken foot, teachers do everything they can for that kid, give them an elevator key, let them leave class early so they aren't late for their next class or their bus, excuse them for being late. The thing is, you can't physically see the damage, the pain from the outside. It sits on the inside and slowly starts to weigh you down until your questioning everything you do and say. What we need isn't people showing sympathy or even raising money. All we need is for people to understand. If someone, anyone, was able to get through to the young man that died so tragically, he would still be here. So people need to wake up. The solution is COMMUNICATION. Something that no one does anymore. Texting is not communication, it's a sad excuse for it. Put away your phone and open your eyes because that person standing next to you, your best friend, they could be next. And all you had to do was take a good look at them and realize that behind all the 'smiling' they are 'broken.' Thank You, (Anonymous)"
[UPDATE No. 2: The student who wrote the letter, inspired by the amazing response from the public, tells us, "Reading all of these comments has inspired me to write a letter to my principal so that we can start focusing on the well being of our fellow students! I'm really happy about the turn out of this! I really wanna be an advocate of change for mental health:) I couldn't of done this without you!"
[UPDATE: This post has received more than 20,000 page views so far. Have a read of the comments below, and the ones coming in on our initial Facebook post.]
ORIGINAL POST below...
In the aftermath of a Crestwood student's sudden death, a Peterborough high school student wrote this powerful letter to us. Have a read of it below (we took out their name and high school)...
Hi, my names [REDACTED] and I'm a student at a Peterborough high school and I have something to say-
Why don't we bring grief counsellors to all the schools? Why don't we try a little harder to make sure no one else commits suicide? Because you HONESTLY never know who's gunna be next. I truly feel like no one at my high school puts in any effort to help teens going through mental illnesses. I think we need to. Because I can't stress how important it is to learn how to cope with the hard ships and yucky feelings. Just because we lost one extraordinary human being this week, doesn't mean we should start focusing on suicide now. Should of happened a long time ago..Its very hard to ask for help. Its very hard to speak up about it. Why can't we have a little club at school where we talk about our feelings and receive support? I'd go to that. What are they gunna do? Wait until someone at high school feels so bad that they kill themselves and then say "damn it, we should of taken action sooner"?? How many kids is it gunna take until high schools realize that they need to do more? I don't know who's in charge of this thing, but you seem to get the word out quite well. We need to be more AWARE.