‘Situ the Truth…’

KENNY SITU Opinions Editor

People do not understand the importance of having friends. In fact social isolation is often a clear marker of poor mental health. Isolation often leads to weight gain, high blood pressure and anxiety says the National Library of Medicine. 

We recently had an assembly by the organization Sandy Hook Promise called Start with Hello. This program aims to end social isolation. Students are encouraged to follow three steps: see someone alone, reach out and help and start with hello. While saying hi to someone who looks alone is probably helpful there is more we can do to prevent social isolation. 

According to a 2019 article by the Los Angeles Times, suicide rates for U.S  teens are currently the highest on record. Clinical psychologist Lisa Damour says that teens who are socially isolated are often more stressed by the world’s problems. This can be especially difficult when they have no friends to talk to about their worries. 

If someone seems socially isolated it is a good idea to say hello to them. Some students can go a whole school day without anyone talking to them at all. If a student appears to be more seriously upset, Damour says that, contrary to what some may believe, asking them if they feel down or suicidal will not cause them to be down or suicidal. In fact, many people in distress or pain are looking for someone to talk to – it could be you.