Green Hope PTSA launches walk to raise awareness of youth suicide
Green Hope High School's PTSA is planning a walk to raise awareness of teen suicide after the loss of two students last year.Posted — Updated
Not many people have experienced the kind of loss that Victoria Bennis has endured in her 20 years: the loss of two people to suicide.
Bennis' brother John, a sophomore at Green Hope High School in Cary, committed suicide last November. And her ex-boyfriend took his life two years ago.
"Most people don’t go through a suicide in their entire lifetime," said Bennis, a 2007 graduate of Green Hope and a senior at N.C. State University. "Me, I’ve been through two in the last two years. And that’s not OK at all."
"I want people of all ages to know what the warning signs are," said Weidle, whose own life has been touched by suicide. "And to let them know that when they are feeling that high level of pain that ... the main thing is to make sure people know they aren’t alone."
"Talking is the first step in trying to prevent it," the program's website says. "It is the act which may break through the isolation that a suicidal person feels."
Plans are for the walk to become an annual one. And the PTSA is working on other programs to help parents identify the warning signs before it's too late. Weidle said she hopes to include parents at other area high schools especially after hearing about the suicides of students at other schools. Bennis looks forward to telling her own story with the hopes that her perspective as a young adult just a few years out of high school will resonate with teens.
"What we're trying to do is prevent more lives lost," Weidle said.
Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.