BANGOR – It’s a touchy topic that isn’t always talked about.Teen suicide continues to increase across the country. But some Bangor High School students are shaking up the social norm by raising awareness through 1 and half mile walk.
“The way I presented myself – I was still the person that everyone believed me to be,” said Sofia Wittmann, a sophomore student, “But I was struggling and had a lot going on.”
The same thing is said by many. They didn’t see the signs.
“It’s something that you shouldn’t be going through when you’re 15-16 years old,” said Caroline Fernald, a student at Bangor High School, “You shouldn’t be losing your friends and facing all of that.”
Teen suicide continues to affect the lives of people in the state and some students are tired of it not being discussed.
“In order for us to prevent more suicides from happening and raise awareness about the whole thing, it has to be an open discussion and brought to light,” said Wittmann, “People have to recognize that it’s happening.”
Over 700 people braved the rainy weather conditions for the Steps for Souls: Suicide Awareness Walk. Where they walked over a mile to start the conversation.
“Hiding something that is very difficult to discuss – sometimes bringing it out is going to make things better,” said Sarah Danby, one of the organizers of the event, “Hiding it will make it worse.”
What makes this event unique is that it’s completely student organized.
“There’s such a stigma about it,” said Fernald, “But I think people are afraid to reach out and say I need help and there’s nothing wrong about saying help.”
According to these students. Suicide doesn’t have a face or a specific look to it.
“No one is guaranteed,” said Katie Strout, the founder of the event, “It could be one of my friends, cousin or anyone.”
They are hoping that by standing up for this cause. People will know about the services available to help.
“I would say, it’s important to know that you’re loved and I think this proves that,” said Strout, “Between 700-800 people were here and they all want you alive.”