RHHS Wildcats: News You Can Use
#WEareRH - Friday, 3/9/18
RHHS to host JROTC Regional Drill
Richmond Hill High School is hosting the JROTC Regional Drill competition tomorrow, Saturday, 10 March from 9:00am – 3:00pm for the local Area 1 JROTC high schools. Qualifying drill teams will compete at the Georgia State Drill competition to be held in Griffin, GA on Saturday, 17 March. Local high schools competing include Beach, Groves, Benedictine, Windsor Forest, Liberty County, Ware County, and Bradwell Institute.
Please join us at RHHS on Saturday, 10 March, and show your support for our JROTC cadets.
March 14th - how RHHS students can participate
As you may know, there is a nationwide demonstration being planned for March 14th at 10am. Last week, RHHS administrators met with Student Council. Together, we have agreed that RHHS students will have the opportunity to participate in a “sit in” on this day at 10am.
Students wanting to participate will peacefully leave their classes at 10am on that day and sit silently in the adjoining hall for 17 minutes. Students will be given a small piece of paper on which they can write their “why” - each student will have the opportunity to write why they are participating in the demonstration. Students can drop their “whys” in a designated collection box prior to returning to class.
Student council plans to use these “whys” to create a banner to send to Marjory Stoneman Douglas as a sign of our support. MSD is displaying banners received so that their students can appreciate all of the support being shared with them from across the country.
All students will be given the option to participate, but no one is required to participate. Students not wanting to participate will simply remain in class.
Blood Drive - Tuesday, March 13th
"HOPE begins with you"
Richmond Hill High School
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
8 am to 2 pm
Come to donate and receive a FREE American Red Cross t-shirt
Students can sign up using the QR code on the posters around the school, by visiting redcrossblood.org and using the sponsor code: rhhs or by coming to Ms. Fina's Room, 706, before or after school to sign up.
Rising Senior Night - Tuesday, March 13th, 6pm
Parent conferences for 9th and 11th graders
Advisors of 9th and 11th grade students have started contacting parents to set up these conferences. All conferences should be scheduled and completed by March 23rd.
Perfect attendance and PROM DAY!
SAT and ACT test dates and registration information
Fee waivers are available for students on free/reduced lunch. Students should talk to their counselor for more information.
Taking care of our students
Next Thursday during advisement, teachers and students will discuss suicide prevention. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, we want to provide parents and guardians additional information ahead of this lesson next week.
Youth suicide is a serious problem. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for children and youth. Youth suicide is increasing in Georgia. According to the CDC, suicide is the second leading cause of death for 10 to 19 year olds. Why do youth choose suicide? We do not know for sure because when youth die by suicide they take the answers with them. We do know that many teens are experiencing numerous stressors and many have mental health issues like depression that are often undiagnosed, untreated or both. Additional risk factors for suicide are previous suicide attempts, family stress/dysfunction, situational crises (death of a loved one, physical or sexual abuse, bullying and harassment, serious disciplinary infractions, breakups, suicide of a peer, etc.). In 2013, seventeen percent of high school students had suicidal ideations that were considered serious while eight percent of those students made an attempt to take their life. Applying those statistics to RHHS, that would be approximately 374 of our students who have seriously considered suicide with 176 of those students attempting suicide.
The good news is that suicide is preventable. Typically, youth considering suicide give warning signs of their distress. It is important that everyone who comes in contact with youth never take these warning signs lightly or promise to keep secrets. Parents, other relatives, friends, teachers, etc. can learn to recognize these signs and get help for the youth thinking about suicide. Changes to look for include:
-Extreme personality changes. When your boisterous, outgoing child becomes quiet and withdrawn from friends or social activities or your quiet shy teen becomes boisterous and outgoing it can indicate that your youth is struggling with ideas of suicide. Similar to extreme personality change is loss of interest in activities. If you have noticed that your teen is no longer participating in activities he/she was once enthusiastic about, then there is cause for concern. Other social signs to look for are social isolation. Has your teen suddenly cut himself/herself off from all social gatherings, especially family and friends? Are basic social interactions like greeting a neighbor or going to the grocery store difficult tasks to accomplish?
-Changes in appetite. A sudden change in appetite is a major indicator of depression and suicidal thought. The change of appetite may be that your child suddenly does not feel like eating and will even pass up his/her favorite food. Conversely, the depressed or suicidal teen may eat all of the time. A change in sleep habits such as your teen begins experiencing difficulty falling asleep or he/she may initially fall asleep but wake up frequently throughout the night may also signal suicidal ideation. Some teens may rest well during the night but still want to sleep the whole day. He/she may want to stay in bed all day and not leave the bedroom for days on end. Teens that are depressed often complain of fatigue even when they are well rested and well fed.
-Personal hygiene and grooming can suffer. When a teen is experiencing depression and/or suicidal ideation, often the depressed/suicidal teen will lose interest in his/her general appearance. He/she may not take a bath for days and oral hygiene may also suffer. He/she may not want to wear clean clothes even when you insist.
-Additional warning signs include suicidal threats (both direct and indirect statements), suicide notes and plans, making final arrangements (giving away prized possessions, planning funeral), or a preoccupation with death. Other suicide risks include previous suicide attempt(s), mental health issues including depression, conduct disorders, and substance abuse, family stress/dysfunction, and family history of suicide.
When a youth gives signs that he/she may be considering suicide, the following actions should be taken:
- Remain calm. Do your best to stay calm and avoid becoming angry or bursting into tears. Your goal is to help your teen not do something in haste. Take your teen’s issues seriously. Ask the teen directly if he/she is thinking about suicide. It is important to approach the conversation honestly but sensitively. It is unlikely that your teen is going to approach you; but it is important that you take the initiative to approach your teen.
- Focus on your concern for their well-being and avoid being accusatory.
- Listen. Do not be judgmental or accusatory. Reassure your teen that your love him/her and that you want them to be safe.
- Reassure them that there is help and they will not feel like this forever.
- Do not judge. Do not minimize concerns or explain them away as issues mentioned regarding how he/she feels.
- Provide constant supervision. Do not leave the teen alone if they are having suicidal thoughts.
- Remove means for self-harm.
- Get help using the resources below.
The presence of resiliency factors can reduce the potential of risk. Once a teen is considered at-risk it is important to work to build these factors in and around the youth.
- Family support, including good communication
- Peer support
- School and community connectedness
- Cultural or religious beliefs that discourage suicide and promote healthy living
- Adaptive coping and problem-solving skills, including conflict-resolution
- General life satisfaction, positive self-esteem, and a sense of purpose.
- Easy access to effective medical and mental health resources.
Interventions can help prevent suicide. Support is available all day every day for anyone thinking about suicide. Here are some resources:
- The local Emergency Room
- Georgia Crisis and Access Line – 1-800-715-4225
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
- 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.
- Crisis Text Line (teens, 24/7, text START to 741741)
- Lifeline Crisis Chat (IM, also 1-800-273-TALK FREE)
- GLBT National Help Center Online PEER Support Chat (LGBTQ, IM, also 1-888-843-4564 FREE)
Rhashida Bunyan: last names A-Davidson
Emily Neff: Davis - Hobby
Wallace Ingram: Hod-Miller
Laine Lynch: Milton-Sa
Saraswati Hendrix: Sc-Z
Jennifer Blanton: Graduation Coach
Jonna Vaughn: Military Family Life Counselor