Teen suicide has been a topic that sadly is on everyone’s mind.
For Katherine Flinn, 18, of Palmetto Bay, it hit close to home. When a girl in her class attempted suicide, Flinn decided to do something to help others. She created a suicide prevention video for her Girl Scout Gold Award project and hopes that it will help other teens to understand the gravity of the problem.
In the video, several girls talk about their suicide attempts and give advice to those who are contemplating suicide, or who have a friend who is. Flinn created the video by first interviewing people who had attempted suicide and survived. Then, she turned their stories into the script, then she and members of her troop acted out the stories.
According to the Girl Scouts website, “The Girl Scout Gold Award…challenges [Girl Scouts] to change the world — or at least [their] corner of it…”
“A lot of people don’t know much about the Gold Award,” Flinn said. “It focuses a lot on doing something that is going to keep continue into the future, rather than just a one-day event. For example, if you start a program teaching dance lessons, you need to show that someone is going to teach those lessons after you’re gone.”
Flinn hopes that her video will be sustainable because it can “go viral” and help others in the future. To help that along, she has entered it in a contest at the website, www.knowresolve.org, a youth suicide prevention organization. The video will be on the website soon, so it will be viewed by many more people. She also is sending it to her former high school and various community leaders, in hopes that they can get out the word.
The focus of the video was to show people who have attempted suicide, and were glad they failed. The girls in the video talk about their attempts and why they think they survived. Flinn wanted to show that teens should understand that suicide is too permanent an action to take in response to their troubles. She wanted to show that someone who wanted to end her lifel could have hope for the future.
Flinn hopes that her video can help people who are experiencing troubling times. One of the girls in her video (played by Flinn) says, “I believe I was meant to do something important with my life, and I haven’t done it yet.”
She hopes this message will speak to teens.
Flinn has been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten. She loved Girl Scouts because it focused on a variety of different activities, volunteerism, and exploring the world around her. She will attend the University of Florida in January, as part of its Innovation Academy program.
The video can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1af7stpsHU