Local high school students create suicide prevention PSA

News

Three recent suicides at Clovis West High School are moving students at another local school to action. Fresno Christian High School seniors Jarrod Markarian and Clark Zhu both worked on a recent project for the school’s online newspaper: a suicide prevention PSA.

“Let’s put it this way, if this video can just save even one kids life out there then I feel my goal is achieved,” said Fresno Christian High Senior Clark Zhu.

The video explores the daily struggles teenagers face and encourages viewers to reach out when feeling pressure or having suicidal thoughts. The video was published on The Feather, the school’s student-ran online newspaper.

“The title of our video is ‘Hope: Let’s Talk’ and I really think that’s what I wanted our message to be,” said Fresno Christian High Senior Jarrod Markarian. “I just wanted to make sure that was a message that you’re not alone in this big world,” he said.

“I want them to know that they can get help from others and also that they can help others,” said Zhu.

Fresno Christian administrators say the tragic deaths at Clovis West reach across school boundaries.

“Though the suicides did not happen on our campus they do impact our students,” said Fresno Christian High School Principal Amy Deffenbacher.

And students need to know there’s always somewhere to turn, no matter how bad things seem at the moment.

“So I think the feeling of isolation, loneliness, nobody understands, or even just not knowing where to turn for help is part of the problem” said Principal Deffenbacher,

Both Markarian and Zhu say being teens helps give them a special perspective on the PSA.

“(As teens) we’re always struggling because we are growing to become an adult,” said Zhu.

“That just hits home with me,” said Markarian.

Students are using the hashtag #hopeletstalk to encourage the entire community to open the conversation about mental health, mental illness and suicide.

To watch the full PSA: click here.

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