The ‘We’re All Human’ Committee Takes Action

The ‘We’re All Human’ Committee Takes Action

Written by Caitleen Copeland and Diana Tinta, The Woodgrove Outlander

The ‘We’re All Human’ Committee is a branch of the Ryan Bartel foundation that was formed this year to take action in spreading awareness and preventing future suicides. The committee is hosting a walk at Woodgrove on April 6 to focus on educating the public on suicide, and to try to form a tighter community of support for everyone going through struggles.

According to the committee’s plans, along the one and a half mile long walk, there will be signs with facts and stories about suicide and depression. These stories will be about people the community has lost and people who have recovered from hardships.

Senior committee member Minh-Tam Tran Le feels that the student body coming together and educating themselves about signs of depression and suicide is an important aspect of the walk and the assembly that will be held after the walk. The assembly will host Mrs. Suzie Bartel, head of the Ryan Bartel foundation, and past scholarship winners as guest speakers.

“There’s a lot of misunderstanding about depression and suicide. This topic seems to be romanticized on social media and that creates a very destructive mindset for those who are exposed to this,” said Tran Le.

Not only will the walk expand the understanding of depression and suicide, but it will also help people learn how to help someone having a hard time, according to guidance counselor Barbara Bell.

Mrs. Bell said, “Learning the signs and symptoms of depression is a valuable tool for someone going through a hardship. We want to make the student body aware, so the student would know what to do and what resources are available to prevent a possible suicide.”

Facetime lessons will coincide with the walk to encourage a safe environment for students.

Junior committee member Sidney Ramirez believes that the walk and Facetime lessons will bring a sense of unity to the student body.

“The walk and Facetime lessons bring the entire school together where we all learn about depression and suicide at the same time, kind of like a family,” said Ramirez.

Social workers, counselors, and psychologists will also come to educate the Woodgrove public about maintaining mental health.

The ‘We’re All Human’ committee is also taking action by making a documentary of students talking about their struggles for the Step Up Loudoun Competition, a competition for Loudoun students to make positive changes in their own lives and the lives of others.

“We are presenting our project in the Step-Up Loudoun competition and are doing other projects as well to spread awareness of how serious this problem is,” said Junior Puneet Kaur, a member of the Step Up Loudoun team.

The whole community has been affected by peers’ suicides, but the ‘We’re all Human’ group hopes to bring some closure to those losses through the creation of a unified community against suicide.

“As a community, it is our job to further our own knowledge to truly understand mental health, so we as a community can make a difference in people’s lives,” said Caleb Blank, a junior committee member.