Creating a Culture of Kindess

My heart aches when I hear of another suicide. It’s like the pain from losing two loved ones to suicide comes rushing forward. Nothing can stop the aching. Time heals some wounds, but not this one.

The path forward for all of us when we learn about the tragedies at NC State University is to become aware of others. Aware of subtleties in behavior change that may include withdrawal from normal activities. Aware of the pain in the eyes. Aware of the catch in the voice when you ask, “How are you doing?”

It wasn’t that long ago when Green Hope High School dealt with two student deaths from suicide. At that time, I was the PTA President and knew our community needed a path forward, a way to heal. We pulled a community of parents and students together and drafted a plan for a memorial walk that raised money to implement a Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention program that we established in Western Wake County. Volunteers were trained to share the steps to “Be-A-Link” Save A Life!

Over the next few weeks, I volunteered time talking with students in high schools and churches encouraging students that it’s OK to ask for help. We also encouraged students to take these steps if they felt a friend was struggling:

  • Stay with the person – you are their lifeline
  • Listen, really listen. Take them seriously!
  • Get, or call, help immediately.

During one of the workshops, I noticed a young man who had come to earlier program. He approached me afterward to thank me. You see, after the first workshop, he noticed a friend was struggling. He kept chatting with the friend online while he called his mother over to find a way to get help to his friend while he kept the conversation going. With tears in his eyes (and in mine), he told me that his friend was alive because he stayed with them and really listened. More importantly, he had the little Yellow Ribbon card I had given him with the these numbers on it for his Mom to call:

Hopeline: 919-231-4525

800-273-TALK (8255)

800-Suicide (784-2433)

Today, we can just call or text 988 to be a link and save a life.

Will join me today in creating a culture of kindness?

Published by Liza Weidle

As a savvy connector with a passion for making the world better, I am known as a good listener and resource immersed in learning trends, tackling challenges, and helping organizations translate vision into actionable, results-driven strategies. In other words, I get the job done!

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