Club sponsors purple out day in support of suicide awareness

photo or infographic by Preslee Wood
WEAR PURPLE FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION. A poster hangs on the first floor, reminding the school community to wear purple. The halls were full of messages of hope and purple streamers on National Suicide Prevention Day.

by Stone Chapman, VOW writer

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the National Suicide Hotline or the Tri-County Crisis Hotline. Both take calls and offer help 24 hours a day.
National Suicide Hotline
Tri County 24/7 CRISIS HOTLINE

Socially, high school is hard for a lot of people, whether it be because of their grades, because their best friend did not sit with them at lunch or maybe because they didn’t get enough likes on their Instagram post.

All jokes aside, when things get tough there are people to help. Kats Joined for Hope is a club that concentrates on helping people through the tough times. The club is sponsored a purple out day last Friday in support of suicide prevention week because it was National Suicide Prevention Day. 

“I want to help spread the message of unity, even if you feel alone,” senior Lucero Garcia said. “People need to be more open about it so we can talk to our friends about it and start an intelligent conversation.”

People are joining Kats Joined for Hope for a variety of reasons.

“About three years ago someone I was very close to attempted suicide and was unsuccessful,” senior Alexandria Johnson said. “I wanted to join because I do not want something like that to ever happen again.”

Suicide prevention and awareness in high school is really important, and its a key issue.

“Many kids who walk our halls hide so many things, like people would never know I have anxiety and many other kids in our school do as well,” Johnson said. “It is a great program for kids who are quiet and nervous about speaking up about their feelings.”

Without Kats Joined for Hope there could be more people in school with bad mental health issues.

“High school can be a very difficult time for a lot of students,” senior Misael De Los Reyes said. “I’ve known too many people that have struggled with their mental health, some even coming close to commiting suicide. I wanted to raise awareness about these very important, but often overlooked issues.”

Kats Joined for Hope was started by social studies teacher Andrea Eisinger  last year because of a girl named Cassidy Hess who was a victim of suicide at Eisinger’s former school.

“Cassidy was a beautiful soul, and there was never any indication that she was contemplating suicide,” Eisinger said. “One day she was here, the next day she was gone. I have some sweet, sweet memories of her sitting in the corner desk, painting her nails lime green, unaware that she was also putting lime green in her hair as  she brushed it out of her face.”

Eisinger was left devastated by Hess’s death and decided to do something about it.

“I created Kats Joined for Hope last year to help spread the message of HOPE for those who have been touched by suicide or mental health in any capacity,” Eisinger said. “Mental health is my passion, and I’ve made it my mission to never lose another student to the tragedy of suicide. I started this club at WHS as a small way to spread HOPE.”