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Cameron, Blue Valley   In this world, I feel like we’re all striving for As and sometimes that’s not realistic. The bar is too high and we’re all pushing too much. It’s just the pressure is too great. When people don’t reach that bar, they’re starting to hurt themselves - mentally or even physically. It’s okay to not get a 100% on a test or to succeed in every way. It’s okay, there’s always going to be failures in life. It’s okay to fail at something.  I think the thing adults can really do for high school students is really acknowledging how much they love the students. With the stress we have in high school, a greater acknowledgment of love would go a long way. Especially with the achievements and successes that students have - or the lack of achievements and successes that someone has - it’s important to love someone the same.  There are #ZeroReasonsWhy you should feel pressured to be perfect.

Cameron, Blue Valley

In this world, I feel like we’re all striving for As and sometimes that’s not realistic. The bar is too high and we’re all pushing too much. It’s just the pressure is too great. When people don’t reach that bar, they’re starting to hurt themselves - mentally or even physically. It’s okay to not get a 100% on a test or to succeed in every way. It’s okay, there’s always going to be failures in life. It’s okay to fail at something.

I think the thing adults can really do for high school students is really acknowledging how much they love the students. With the stress we have in high school, a greater acknowledgment of love would go a long way. Especially with the achievements and successes that students have - or the lack of achievements and successes that someone has - it’s important to love someone the same.

There are #ZeroReasonsWhy you should feel pressured to be perfect.


Nicholas, Blue Valley   A couple years ago one of my good friends on the lacrosse team, he ended up killing himself. I don’t want anyone else to feel like that’s the only way they have to fix the issues their going through so I want to be able to help. This is obviously a problem and everyone wants to help solve it. I’ve seen a lot of kids from different friend groups and different backgrounds come together to be a solution for this. There’s always more to live for. Although it’s tough right now, you’ll get through it. People love you and care for you.  There are #ZeroReasonsWhy this should happen in the first place.

Nicholas, Blue Valley

A couple years ago one of my good friends on the lacrosse team, he ended up killing himself. I don’t want anyone else to feel like that’s the only way they have to fix the issues their going through so I want to be able to help. This is obviously a problem and everyone wants to help solve it. I’ve seen a lot of kids from different friend groups and different backgrounds come together to be a solution for this. There’s always more to live for. Although it’s tough right now, you’ll get through it. People love you and care for you.

There are #ZeroReasonsWhy this should happen in the first place.


Kyra, Spring Hill   Growing up I never really liked myself. I always thought I was fat. But in the past few years I’ve really gained a self confidence and I feel good about myself. 8th grade was when it really switched for me. My 8th grade English teacher was asking our home room, ‘Who’s going to run for president for freshman year of high school?’ A few people rose their hand and she said, ‘Kyra, why aren’t you raising your hand? You would be perfect for it.’ So I ran and then I won. I wasn’t confident then but that one thing she did for me changed things. I am so thankful for her doing that because I was always shy and didn’t like being in front of people. But now I know people have respect for me and I have respect for myself. If I want anyone to learn anything from me it’s, be kind to everyone around you — not only that, but be kind to yourself.  There are #ZeroReasonsWhy you shouldn’t love yourself.

Kyra, Spring Hill

Growing up I never really liked myself. I always thought I was fat. But in the past few years I’ve really gained a self confidence and I feel good about myself. 8th grade was when it really switched for me. My 8th grade English teacher was asking our home room, ‘Who’s going to run for president for freshman year of high school?’ A few people rose their hand and she said, ‘Kyra, why aren’t you raising your hand? You would be perfect for it.’ So I ran and then I won. I wasn’t confident then but that one thing she did for me changed things. I am so thankful for her doing that because I was always shy and didn’t like being in front of people. But now I know people have respect for me and I have respect for myself. If I want anyone to learn anything from me it’s, be kind to everyone around you — not only that, but be kind to yourself.

There are #ZeroReasonsWhy you shouldn’t love yourself.


Alivia, Spring Hill   There were times when I thought no one really cared about me. I would start to think ‘what would happen if I was gone? What if I wasn’t here, would anybody even care?’ I just want people to know you’re not alone. People are there for you. Cheerleading really helped me. I felt like I was a part of something. It helped me feel like I wasn’t alone because I was surrounded by people who cared and I could talk to any of them.  You never know who needs it. I try to go around each day and smile at someone new in the hallway. I try to compliment as many people as I can. It’s not something you hear every day - people complimenting each other - so I feel like if I can help spread that a little bit it could maybe change something for somebody. You’re not alone. That’s something I needed to remember when I was feeling upset. There are people who care for you. You’re worth so much, you really are. If you really need help, ask for it.  There are #ZeroReasonsWhy I can’t be positive.

Alivia, Spring Hill

There were times when I thought no one really cared about me. I would start to think ‘what would happen if I was gone? What if I wasn’t here, would anybody even care?’ I just want people to know you’re not alone. People are there for you. Cheerleading really helped me. I felt like I was a part of something. It helped me feel like I wasn’t alone because I was surrounded by people who cared and I could talk to any of them.

You never know who needs it. I try to go around each day and smile at someone new in the hallway. I try to compliment as many people as I can. It’s not something you hear every day - people complimenting each other - so I feel like if I can help spread that a little bit it could maybe change something for somebody. You’re not alone. That’s something I needed to remember when I was feeling upset. There are people who care for you. You’re worth so much, you really are. If you really need help, ask for it.

There are #ZeroReasonsWhy I can’t be positive.


Kyleigh, Gardner Edgerton   Going into high school with anxiety is pretty rough. It’s there every day. A few weeks ago I was pretty upset. I felt like it was the end of the world. I called my friend. I said, ‘I’m not doing so well’ and she said, ‘Do you want me to come over?’ And I said, ‘No, just stay on the line with me. Just help me talk things out.’ That was really one of the most eye opening situations for me. I didn’t realize I could get that bad with anxiety. Just her sitting there and talking to me really makes a difference.  That one person you can count on can really make a difference in your life. Find someone who can be there for you. Reach out to them.  There are #ZeroReasonsWhy you should do it alone.

Kyleigh, Gardner Edgerton

Going into high school with anxiety is pretty rough. It’s there every day. A few weeks ago I was pretty upset. I felt like it was the end of the world. I called my friend. I said, ‘I’m not doing so well’ and she said, ‘Do you want me to come over?’ And I said, ‘No, just stay on the line with me. Just help me talk things out.’ That was really one of the most eye opening situations for me. I didn’t realize I could get that bad with anxiety. Just her sitting there and talking to me really makes a difference.

That one person you can count on can really make a difference in your life. Find someone who can be there for you. Reach out to them.

There are #ZeroReasonsWhy you should do it alone.

Abigail, Gardner Edgerton   I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety and I’ve had a suicide attempt myself. And a few years ago my brother committed suicide so it’s a really big topic for me. I don’t want people to feel like that’s their only choice. I want them to feel like they have a voice and that there are other ways they can cope with this other than taking their own lives to solve it.  I have social anxiety also, so I worry about getting rejected by other people so it makes it hard for me to actually get out there and talk to other people. I have a therapist, so I’ve talked to them about it. Also, not try to over think it. I tell myself that -- if I wouldn’t judge someone for something, they’re not going to judge me.  I think about the people who are around me and the people I do have. I think about my brother and about how much his death hurt me and my family and how even if he didn’t realize it -- and I wouldn’t have realized it if I had taken my life -- how much impact it would have on the people around me.  I continue to talk to my parents and my family about it and it got better. I still struggle with the depression and anxiety, but it’s better now. It helped to talk about it and not keep it inside. Even if it’s hard to talk about, you’ll feel better once you share it with someone. You’ll feel like you have more power over the situation if you are able to share it and control how you feel about it.  There are #ZeroReasonsWhy you should feel like you don’t have a voice.

Abigail, Gardner Edgerton

I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety and I’ve had a suicide attempt myself. And a few years ago my brother committed suicide so it’s a really big topic for me. I don’t want people to feel like that’s their only choice. I want them to feel like they have a voice and that there are other ways they can cope with this other than taking their own lives to solve it.

I have social anxiety also, so I worry about getting rejected by other people so it makes it hard for me to actually get out there and talk to other people. I have a therapist, so I’ve talked to them about it. Also, not try to over think it. I tell myself that -- if I wouldn’t judge someone for something, they’re not going to judge me.

I think about the people who are around me and the people I do have. I think about my brother and about how much his death hurt me and my family and how even if he didn’t realize it -- and I wouldn’t have realized it if I had taken my life -- how much impact it would have on the people around me.

I continue to talk to my parents and my family about it and it got better. I still struggle with the depression and anxiety, but it’s better now. It helped to talk about it and not keep it inside. Even if it’s hard to talk about, you’ll feel better once you share it with someone. You’ll feel like you have more power over the situation if you are able to share it and control how you feel about it.

There are #ZeroReasonsWhy you should feel like you don’t have a voice.


Robert, Olathe   I recently downloaded Snapchat and Twitter and I’ve never had it before. The reason I got it was because I joined the football team and that’s how the coach communicates with us. I prefer personal connections but that’s really tough to do because there’s a cost there. I might not be as involved on the weekends with people. I might not know what’s going on. It’s easier to get left out. But I think when you consider all things, it’s more beneficial because I do still have those close relationships even though I might not be connected with everyone.  End of sophomore year, a close friend of mine had some issues with a close friend group and they pretty much kicked him out. He was having a really hard time with it and worried about where he’d find value. He had just become close friends with me and some other guys. He actually wrote up a suicide note and thought of us and tore it up. So those personal connections are huge. He shared that with us a few months later at my buddy’s house in the back yard around midnight on his trampoline with the stars out. It was like this perfect thing. And after he said it, we didn’t say ‘we know how you feel.’ We just sat there with him and no one said anything for maybe 15 minutes. We just sat there with him. Then we stepped in and said ‘I’m sorry for that. I’m so glad you’re still with us.’  There are #ZeroReasonsWhy I don’t have value.

Robert, Olathe

I recently downloaded Snapchat and Twitter and I’ve never had it before. The reason I got it was because I joined the football team and that’s how the coach communicates with us. I prefer personal connections but that’s really tough to do because there’s a cost there. I might not be as involved on the weekends with people. I might not know what’s going on. It’s easier to get left out. But I think when you consider all things, it’s more beneficial because I do still have those close relationships even though I might not be connected with everyone.

End of sophomore year, a close friend of mine had some issues with a close friend group and they pretty much kicked him out. He was having a really hard time with it and worried about where he’d find value. He had just become close friends with me and some other guys. He actually wrote up a suicide note and thought of us and tore it up. So those personal connections are huge. He shared that with us a few months later at my buddy’s house in the back yard around midnight on his trampoline with the stars out. It was like this perfect thing. And after he said it, we didn’t say ‘we know how you feel.’ We just sat there with him and no one said anything for maybe 15 minutes. We just sat there with him. Then we stepped in and said ‘I’m sorry for that. I’m so glad you’re still with us.’

There are #ZeroReasonsWhy I don’t have value.


Maddie, Mill Valley   I have had major depression since I was in about 7th grade. I didn’t know how to talk about it. I felt guilty about it and I was afraid if I said anything about it then I was going to get people worried and they’re going to think I was just trying to do things for attention. But then I got to a point where I needed help so I talked to my parents about it and they were understanding. They got me help and through that and medications I am able to function now, whereas if none of that had happened, I can’t say for sure if I would even be alive today.  Something that people don’t realize is that it doesn’t just go away as soon as you start taking medication. You can still have bad days and it still affects your daily life, but that doesn’t excuse me from having to function as a person. I had to figure out a way to manage it. I’ll be like, ‘It doesn’t matter at all right now, but it will matter to me in the morning. It will matter to me when I get a bad grade so I need to sit down and do my homework.’ I have to get out of bed and go to school. It’s not that I want to cut everyone out of my life, it’s just that I can’t find any motivation to connect with anybody and it takes so much energy to do anything besides just get out of bed and go where I have to. It’s just tough.  Most people go to social media to talk about those things because that’s the only outlet they have, cause the people around them don’t understand and don’t listen. I don’t blame people for not understanding or not knowing how to talk about it. How could they? No one talks about it. Depressed isn’t just ‘I’m sad.’ Anxiety isn’t just ‘I’m a little stressed out.’ It’s a lot more real and a lot more harsh than that. But people don’t really understand that because the only way they’ve really seen it portrayed is in the media. If people were to talk about it and share things about it, it would help get rid of some of the misconceptions and stereotypes.  It may be scary for you as a parent and it may hurt you a lot to find out that your child is going through that, especially if you didn’t realize it. You’ll have those feelings of how did I not notice this? But do your best to not present that part to your child because chances are, they already feel guilty enough. They already feel like a burden. We constantly see ourselves and our mental illness as a burden to other people that they shouldn’t have to hear about or deal with. So when you’re a parent with a kid who has a mental illness, don’t make them feel like they are responsible for something that’s out of their control.  There are #ZeroReasonsWhy you have to go through it alone.

Maddie, Mill Valley

I have had major depression since I was in about 7th grade. I didn’t know how to talk about it. I felt guilty about it and I was afraid if I said anything about it then I was going to get people worried and they’re going to think I was just trying to do things for attention. But then I got to a point where I needed help so I talked to my parents about it and they were understanding. They got me help and through that and medications I am able to function now, whereas if none of that had happened, I can’t say for sure if I would even be alive today.

Something that people don’t realize is that it doesn’t just go away as soon as you start taking medication. You can still have bad days and it still affects your daily life, but that doesn’t excuse me from having to function as a person. I had to figure out a way to manage it. I’ll be like, ‘It doesn’t matter at all right now, but it will matter to me in the morning. It will matter to me when I get a bad grade so I need to sit down and do my homework.’ I have to get out of bed and go to school. It’s not that I want to cut everyone out of my life, it’s just that I can’t find any motivation to connect with anybody and it takes so much energy to do anything besides just get out of bed and go where I have to. It’s just tough.

Most people go to social media to talk about those things because that’s the only outlet they have, cause the people around them don’t understand and don’t listen. I don’t blame people for not understanding or not knowing how to talk about it. How could they? No one talks about it. Depressed isn’t just ‘I’m sad.’ Anxiety isn’t just ‘I’m a little stressed out.’ It’s a lot more real and a lot more harsh than that. But people don’t really understand that because the only way they’ve really seen it portrayed is in the media. If people were to talk about it and share things about it, it would help get rid of some of the misconceptions and stereotypes.

It may be scary for you as a parent and it may hurt you a lot to find out that your child is going through that, especially if you didn’t realize it. You’ll have those feelings of how did I not notice this? But do your best to not present that part to your child because chances are, they already feel guilty enough. They already feel like a burden. We constantly see ourselves and our mental illness as a burden to other people that they shouldn’t have to hear about or deal with. So when you’re a parent with a kid who has a mental illness, don’t make them feel like they are responsible for something that’s out of their control.

There are #ZeroReasonsWhy you have to go through it alone.


Abby, Mill Valley   I felt isolated and like I had no one in my life anymore. What mostly helped me was finding people who cared and finding people I could really talk to and be 100% real with. My family was really close to me during that time and I actually became closer with them because they helped me through this time. I found friends who actually cared about me and understood what I was going through. That helped me get closer to them, which helped me get through the hard times.  People always come in and say ‘here is a hotline if you ever need to call anyone.’ But that’s not really what teenagers are going to do. We’re not going to pick up the phone when we’re sad and call someone we don’t know. It really helps when you know people care. Like with my friends, knowing that someone cared and wanted to talk to me about it matters.  There are so many people that care about you in the world. You might not think about it, but whether it be your teachers, your family, your friends, there are people that care about you and want you to get better. Don’t think about it as a negative but something that you can get over and look back at your life and say ‘I did it, I got over it.’ Make it less of a negative issue and more of a ‘okay I can overcome this and become better because of it.’  There are #ZeroReasonsWhy I can’t talk about my issues.

Abby, Mill Valley

I felt isolated and like I had no one in my life anymore. What mostly helped me was finding people who cared and finding people I could really talk to and be 100% real with. My family was really close to me during that time and I actually became closer with them because they helped me through this time. I found friends who actually cared about me and understood what I was going through. That helped me get closer to them, which helped me get through the hard times.

People always come in and say ‘here is a hotline if you ever need to call anyone.’ But that’s not really what teenagers are going to do. We’re not going to pick up the phone when we’re sad and call someone we don’t know. It really helps when you know people care. Like with my friends, knowing that someone cared and wanted to talk to me about it matters.

There are so many people that care about you in the world. You might not think about it, but whether it be your teachers, your family, your friends, there are people that care about you and want you to get better. Don’t think about it as a negative but something that you can get over and look back at your life and say ‘I did it, I got over it.’ Make it less of a negative issue and more of a ‘okay I can overcome this and become better because of it.’

There are #ZeroReasonsWhy I can’t talk about my issues.


Logan, Olathe   It hurts me when I see other kids my age feeling the strong emotions they’re going through and feeling like they can’t express it or talk about it because of the stigma and I think it’s really important that we do talk about it. I would say self esteem is a huge issue. It’s hard to encounter because you wouldn’t know necessarily if someone does have low self-esteem so it’s really hard to know if someone else is having it. Because I’ve been there. It’s really hard to look at yourself in the mirror and think ‘I wish I was better.’ It’s really a hard thing to cope with. Self esteem is a weird subject to talk about. It’s hard to bring it up because a lot of people don’t want to talk about it. There’s a huge environment of wanting to be better than other people in high school, which is really bad. We need to fix that but it’s so hard to know how. It’s important to find importance in every single person. You’re special for a reason.

Logan, Olathe

It hurts me when I see other kids my age feeling the strong emotions they’re going through and feeling like they can’t express it or talk about it because of the stigma and I think it’s really important that we do talk about it. I would say self esteem is a huge issue. It’s hard to encounter because you wouldn’t know necessarily if someone does have low self-esteem so it’s really hard to know if someone else is having it. Because I’ve been there. It’s really hard to look at yourself in the mirror and think ‘I wish I was better.’ It’s really a hard thing to cope with. Self esteem is a weird subject to talk about. It’s hard to bring it up because a lot of people don’t want to talk about it. There’s a huge environment of wanting to be better than other people in high school, which is really bad. We need to fix that but it’s so hard to know how. It’s important to find importance in every single person. You’re special for a reason.


Gabrielle, Mill Valley   I have a lot of anxiety because I always feel like I can only depend on myself and that everyone around me is only there in the moment, but they’re not going to be there in the long run. There are very few people I feel like are actually there for me, especially in high school because friends come and go. I know there are a lot of people who go through the same things that I do. Everybody goes through that period where where they feel like they’re not a part of something.  I feel like a lot of people don’t understand the individuality of high school students and how we handle things in a very different manner than most people do. A lot of people don’t understand how different high school is now from what it used to be and how much pressure it is. So just show that you’re there and that they can talk to you.

Gabrielle, Mill Valley

I have a lot of anxiety because I always feel like I can only depend on myself and that everyone around me is only there in the moment, but they’re not going to be there in the long run. There are very few people I feel like are actually there for me, especially in high school because friends come and go. I know there are a lot of people who go through the same things that I do. Everybody goes through that period where where they feel like they’re not a part of something.

I feel like a lot of people don’t understand the individuality of high school students and how we handle things in a very different manner than most people do. A lot of people don’t understand how different high school is now from what it used to be and how much pressure it is. So just show that you’re there and that they can talk to you.


Aaron, Gardner Edgerton   I came out gay when I was going into my freshman year. And the looks you get in the hallways, the mean comments some people leave. Looks say more than anything. You just feel excluded from everything. It really gets you down but I feel like if you have those people, that little bit of hope is what hangs on. My youth pastor reached out and I started going to meetings with her. That helped so much, just knowing someone was there thinking about me or just sitting there to listen. Just listening. Sometimes you don’t need a response, sometimes you just need to vent without being judged. And that was big.  Don’t be afraid. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, there’s always some sort of moment you’re going to miss out on if you decide to take a route that you feel is the best option at that point. When I was going through my rough patch, I thought of my sister. I’m super tight with my sister. We have too many good memories to waste. Why waste those memories and why waste any future memories? Just know that there is someone out there. I feel like that’s what people need, is just someone to listen.

Aaron, Gardner Edgerton

I came out gay when I was going into my freshman year. And the looks you get in the hallways, the mean comments some people leave. Looks say more than anything. You just feel excluded from everything. It really gets you down but I feel like if you have those people, that little bit of hope is what hangs on. My youth pastor reached out and I started going to meetings with her. That helped so much, just knowing someone was there thinking about me or just sitting there to listen. Just listening. Sometimes you don’t need a response, sometimes you just need to vent without being judged. And that was big.

Don’t be afraid. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, there’s always some sort of moment you’re going to miss out on if you decide to take a route that you feel is the best option at that point. When I was going through my rough patch, I thought of my sister. I’m super tight with my sister. We have too many good memories to waste. Why waste those memories and why waste any future memories? Just know that there is someone out there. I feel like that’s what people need, is just someone to listen.


Hannah, Spring Hill   The fall of my freshman year, I dislocated my kneecap. It was the weekend before my competitive swim season was set to begin. So on top of dealing with the transition to high school, I was also dealing with this. I just slipped into a depression. I was sad and gloomy and I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to work. I didn’t want to do swimming. I just wanted to be left alone. It wasn’t until my dad sat down with me and said ‘hey, we need to fix this’ that I started to climb out of it. Then last fall I dislocated my kneecap again and it was definitely a fight to keep myself from not doing the same thing over again. I recognized my emotions and said ‘this is what I did last time; this is what I refuse to do this time.’ I feel like I was better prepared to step up to that challenge then I was my freshman year. I put a lot of energy into my physical therapy and I found other things to for me to do.  So many adults try and shelter the idea of suicide from young kids but I feel like without knowing about it, you can’t face it and you can’t face the different problems that come with it. I think that kids have to be taught how to deal with their emotions and how to talk about their emotions. That’s what I feel is the real problem behind teen suicide is that they have all these emotions that they don’t know how to deal with. So without being taught how to handle and speak openly about their emotions, teens can’t grow or move past what they view is an unbearable pain. Have conversations with your kids. I feel like a lot of times when I go out to dinner, I see parents sitting on their phones and their child is on their tablets. The only way to have a really strong relationship, I feel like with your teenagers, is to start when they’re young. You have to do that in order for your teens to come to you when they are sad and upset.  There are #ZeroReasonsWhy you can’t keep moving.

Hannah, Spring Hill

The fall of my freshman year, I dislocated my kneecap. It was the weekend before my competitive swim season was set to begin. So on top of dealing with the transition to high school, I was also dealing with this. I just slipped into a depression. I was sad and gloomy and I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to work. I didn’t want to do swimming. I just wanted to be left alone. It wasn’t until my dad sat down with me and said ‘hey, we need to fix this’ that I started to climb out of it. Then last fall I dislocated my kneecap again and it was definitely a fight to keep myself from not doing the same thing over again. I recognized my emotions and said ‘this is what I did last time; this is what I refuse to do this time.’ I feel like I was better prepared to step up to that challenge then I was my freshman year. I put a lot of energy into my physical therapy and I found other things to for me to do.

So many adults try and shelter the idea of suicide from young kids but I feel like without knowing about it, you can’t face it and you can’t face the different problems that come with it. I think that kids have to be taught how to deal with their emotions and how to talk about their emotions. That’s what I feel is the real problem behind teen suicide is that they have all these emotions that they don’t know how to deal with. So without being taught how to handle and speak openly about their emotions, teens can’t grow or move past what they view is an unbearable pain. Have conversations with your kids. I feel like a lot of times when I go out to dinner, I see parents sitting on their phones and their child is on their tablets. The only way to have a really strong relationship, I feel like with your teenagers, is to start when they’re young. You have to do that in order for your teens to come to you when they are sad and upset.

There are #ZeroReasonsWhy you can’t keep moving.


Fiona, Gardner Edgerton   One of my best friends was one who committed suicide. It was very different then when my grandmother passed away. Her days were numbered because she was sick. But with my friend it was very different. I used to struggle with stuff like that. I never ever want any of my friends to feel like that. Never, because that sucked. My friends are probably the reason I’m alive and being with them means a lot. I never want them to feel like the way I felt when she passed away.  I like the idea of teens getting together and talking about those things. I think teens talking to teens, especially because we’re all in the same generation and we all see the same stuff. I think having those kinds of discussions would be nice. It would be cool for kids to come together and talk about that.  You aren’t as alone as you think you are. Everyone’s mental health situation is unique but that doesn’t mean you’re alone. It just means you need to find something to help you. A mental health condition is just the same as a physical condition. You can get medication. You can get therapy. You can get all kinds of help. Even just talking to a friend. Keep in mind it can take literally one text message. Sometimes I’ll be in the middle of a panic attack and I’ll just have a little voice say ‘text a friend.’

Fiona, Gardner Edgerton

One of my best friends was one who committed suicide. It was very different then when my grandmother passed away. Her days were numbered because she was sick. But with my friend it was very different. I used to struggle with stuff like that. I never ever want any of my friends to feel like that. Never, because that sucked. My friends are probably the reason I’m alive and being with them means a lot. I never want them to feel like the way I felt when she passed away.

I like the idea of teens getting together and talking about those things. I think teens talking to teens, especially because we’re all in the same generation and we all see the same stuff. I think having those kinds of discussions would be nice. It would be cool for kids to come together and talk about that.

You aren’t as alone as you think you are. Everyone’s mental health situation is unique but that doesn’t mean you’re alone. It just means you need to find something to help you. A mental health condition is just the same as a physical condition. You can get medication. You can get therapy. You can get all kinds of help. Even just talking to a friend. Keep in mind it can take literally one text message. Sometimes I’ll be in the middle of a panic attack and I’ll just have a little voice say ‘text a friend.’