Ending the Silence

Dear Middle School Families,

God has blessed us with children, and He has called us to protect them. As parents and educators, we strive to keep them physically active, and academically engaged. As stated in our School Wide Learning Expectations, we also support them to be —

Confident and Resilient Individuals who…

  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity with regard to self and others
  • Evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Recognize the mental, spiritual, physical and emotional aspects of life

Teenagers often experience strong emotions, such as stress, confusion, self-doubt, and pressure to succeed. It is of the utmost importance that we recognize the mental health component of our children’s development, and help them understand this as well. Families, loved ones, friends are impacted by mental illness. For some there’s a stigma attached, which makes discussion and seeking treatment more difficult. Education on mental health can help change the conversation. The need for conversation is growing, particularly in light of youth suicide statistics. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24.

The vast majority of people who experience life’s challenges such as bullying, the death of a friend or family member, do not die by suicide. But knowing how to respond to someone who shares thoughts of emotional distress or suicide is so important. And for those experiencing extreme distress, where do they turn?

Ending the Silence

Ending the Silence is a 50-minute presentation designed specifically for middle and high school students. It provides them with information about mental health conditions including early warning signs, suicide prevention, strategies for how to help friends in trouble, and common myths about mental illness. We will welcome a speaker from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). A former OLG student, Aislin will share her personal story. Now working for NAMI, Aislin reaches out to schools and other communities to open this discussion and answer questions. We will also discuss ways we as a school community can reduce mental health stigma.

NAMI will present on Friday December 7th for grades 6 through 8.

If you have questions regarding this presentation, or you prefer your student NOT participate, please let the office know at 206-935-0651, or email me directly

Thank you for your support!

Heidi Ehrenberg

School Counselor


More about NAMI

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI Seattle and dedicated volunteers, members and leaders work tirelessly to raise awareness and provide essential education, advocacy and support group programs for people in our community living with mental illness and their loved ones.