Student Board Member (17)
My name is Ashlynn, and I am a Board Member of Project Reasons.
Growing up I have never dealt with serious depression or self harm, but my friends and peers did. Some of my friends were depressed and/ or self harmed and I couldn't understand why. Why would someone want to hurt themselves?
All my life I have been a people pleaser and I try to make everyone feel loved and welcome. Until high school came. I dealt with things I never thought I would deal with in my life. High school is hard, it really is. It is stressful, and there is a ton of pressure to succeed. In December of my freshman year, there was a suicide at my school. It was devastating. I was crushed.
My friends and I were overwhelmed with grief. It was a terrible feeling...a feeling I didn't know I could feel.
Later on during my freshman year, there was another suicide. The student was my friend. It hurt me to hear about it. It's a feeling I could never get used to. It was the most terrible thing to experience.
Then, during my sophomore year of High school, I lost a dear friend, Noah. This hit me the hardest. I couldn't breathe or think or function. This couldn't be him. They had to be wrong. I saw him yesterday and he was fine. That's what I was thinking.. I spent Noah's last day with him. We talked and laughed. I couldn't have been more shocked when I heard about his death. When we talked, he smiled and said he is okay. He reassured me so I wouldn't worry. Everything was okay. I loved Noah. He was a very dear friend to me. I am still devasated to think about him. And I am most definitely not over grieving for him. I was angry and sad and happy. Most of all, I would give anything to see him smile again.
As a young teenager I had been to over 4 funerals for the deaths of my friends. No teenager should ever have to experience that.
I was tired of hearing about suicide in my community. I felt helpless and angry. I didn't know what to do to help make it stop, until Project Reasons reached out to me and invited me to be a board member. I want to help. I want to erase the stigma around mental health and suicide. I want people to know it is okay to not be okay. I want people to know they can get help. I want people to want to live.
My name is Ashlynn, and I am a Reason.