LI Schools Struggle With Rise In Teen Suicides


HITTING HOME: The Commack High School community has been coping with several student suicides in recent years—the latest in march—and searching for the most effective ways to raise awareness and increase prevention.

SURVIVOR

Hunter, the former Commack High School student harassed and cyberbullied to the brink of suicide, says her self-destructive thoughts lasted through her junior year; she’s now just completed her freshman year at college.


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Her straightened hair is tucked behind her ear—a stark contrast to the unkempt appearance she had in high school. The 19-year-old credits joining Pay It Forward, a club where she was able to talk openly about being bullied, as part of the reason she was able to graduate.

Hunter believes her alma mater could be doing more to address suicide and the vicious acts that lead up to such tragedies, such as cyberbullying, since she says current students she knows at the school still don’t know where to look for help.

“I might have learned about suicide prevention in health and gym, but those are the classes that students treat like downtime,” says Hunter. “They don’t really pay attention and it is an important topic. Students need to know where to go to help themselves or others.

“Teens think that high school is the hardest battle they will go through, but it is not,” she continues. “There are hurdles. You just need to push through…

“I am so happy I didn’t take things further.”

Sadly, other students will never have the chance to reconsider.

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