The Student News Site Of Central Kitsap High School

Cougar Chronicle

The Student News Site Of Central Kitsap High School

Cougar Chronicle

The Student News Site Of Central Kitsap High School

Cougar Chronicle

Want to stay caught up with the latest stories?

Subscribe

* indicates required
Support Us
$415
$750
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Central Kitsap High School. Your contribution will help us cover our annual website hosting costs.

CKHS Counselor Scott McMinds Speaks Out About Suicide Awareness

Scott McMinds’ shares advice to combat suicide at CKHS event.
CKHS+Counselor+Scott+McMinds+talking+on+the+stage+of+the+CKHS+performing+arts+center.
Vassilisa Joslyn
CKHS Counselor Scott McMinds talking on the stage of the CKHS performing arts center.

On September 27, Central Kitsap High School Counselor Scott McMinds held an advisory activity in the building’s Performing Arts Center, where he shared facts and potential warning signs regarding mental health with students, as well as what to do when somebody is struggling with suicidal thoughts.

“Not everyone has the same [struggles], but we get through them and there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” said McMinds. “So I think sharing that and trying to inspire hope is a big mission of mine.”

In the presentation, McMinds mentioned that two of the biggest contributors to suicidal thoughts are loneliness and hopelessness. He demonstrated this with two activities. In the first, students were told to stand and link arms with the people around them.

“I think it’s important that students at CK know that they are part of a bigger family, and that some of the choices and decisions that they make can impact others,” said McMinds. 

McMinds emphasized that actions have an impact, whether that be a good or bad one. Being present for others and connecting through physical touch can affect an individual positively and let them know they are not alone.

The second activity students participated in involved a completely dark room. Students were instructed to light up the room with the flashlights on their phones.

A crowd of students in the CKHS Performing Arts Center light up the dark room with their flashlights. (Vassilisa Joslyn)

“Darkness enters all of our lives in different ways, shapes, or forms,” said McMinds. “But knowing that we all have the ability, with our flashlights, with our phones like we did in the assembly, to extinguish darkness, and one little light is enough to rid an area of darkness, but all our lights together was a very powerful image of how we can work together to try to extinguish darkness, and really inspire hope.”

Morgan Van Ness, a CKHS student who attended the event, voiced that it had great informational activities.

“It was really good,” said Van Ness. “I loved the activities that we were able to do. I never really thought about the two main causes but I really think they are hopelessness and being lonely, and those two together can really do damage. I think it was really informational and really from the heart.”

According to AFSP’s website page on suicide statistics, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. as of 2021. Only recently has mental health awareness been emphasized.

Scott McMinds shares a QR code on the screen for students with questions. (Vassilisa Joslyn)

“I don’t think there’s ever enough resources for mental health, but I think that we definitely have way more than we used to have,” said Van Ness. “Throughout the school, there are the little QR codes for if you’re having problems, and you talk to somebody about it.”

Students may find it difficult to know what to do in a situation where somebody they know has suicidal thoughts. In the words of McMinds, the best thing to do is to make sure that they don’t feel alone, as loneliness is one of the biggest contributors.

“…Telling a trusted adult [and] trying to surround yourself with people that care about you, that are invested in you will help you get the resources you need,” said McMinds. “I always say that we’re not meant to do life alone, and sometimes I think that people feel ashamed for what they’re feeling, or that they did something wrong. I think that’s the wrong feeling of course, and I would want people to know they’re not alone, and that getting help is not a sign of weakness, but really it’s the most healthy thing that they can do.”

Donate to Cougar Chronicle
$415
$750
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Central Kitsap High School. Your contribution will help us cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Vassilisa Joslyn, Reporter
A high school senior, Vassilisa Joslyn, or Vas for short, loves to talk: her primary reason for taking Journalism. As this class involves interviews, questions, and writing stories covering topics one can choose, it seemed like the obvious choice for her. Outside of school, she enjoys playing piano or violin, sewing, or most other creative hobbies. She is very proud and hard-working, and will always do her best.
Donate to Cougar Chronicle
$415
$750
Contributed
Our Goal