Breathe Out Week at HHS


Hingham Wicked

The seniors of suicide prevention: (top row left to right) Casey Cosgrove, Kenzie Shea, Gabby Parker, Josh Crosby, Molly Rabinovitz, Emily Carrick, Chris Bierwirth, (bottom row) Will Kellem, Laura DiPesa, and Andrew Rubino

Chris Bierwirth , Contributing Writer

From April 11th to the 15th, students and faculty at Hingham High School sponsored a week of activities to reduce stress, known as Breathe Out Week, with the goal of teaching students about stress and how to effectively manage it.

The week, brought to HHS by the Suicide Prevention Program and run through the guidance office with the help of student Peer Leaders, featured a variety of activities such as exercise, outdoor events, and drawing and coloring. Highlights from the week included outdoor SpikeBall and Frisbee offered during study, and drawing and coloring offered in the library.

The group partnered with the South Shore Hospital Youth Health Connection and the Josh Anderson Foundation to bring activities to the high school, with the hope that learning to destress could improve the mental health of HHS students.

The Josh Anderson Foundation has a mission of providing teenagers with mental health education, resources, and support. The Youth Health Connection trained the Peer Leaders to identify and explain the warning signs of depression, in the hopes that they would pass this knowledge onto students at their schools, which they certainly have.

As most students at Hingham High School will tell you, it is sometimes difficult to manage the academic, social, and overall responsibilities that come with being a high schooler. These stresses can sometimes become overwhelming and lead to depression or suicidal behavior or thoughts.

The Suicide Prevention Group attempts to both educate others about the warning signs and causes of depression, while dispelling the stigma and myths surrounding depression and suicide. Through a presentation entitled “How Not to Keep a Secret” given each year to the freshman class, the Peer Leaders hope to encourage students to talk to a trusted adult, be it a teacher, guidance counselor, or parent, if they believe a classmate is struggling with depression or extreme stress.

Senior Peer Leader Andrew Rubino says of these presentations, “The presentations we put on for the freshman are really unique since we get to use our knowledge to teach such an important topic. I think we have really connected with the past two classes of freshman since all of the presenters are so dedicated to the prevention of such a pressing issue.”

Breathe Out Week attempted to provide further resources for students and teachers to use to reduce stress. Each day had a different theme. Themes included: nutrition, exercise, relaxation, art, music, and humor, which are all great ways to relieve stress.

The week was made possible through extensive effort from the Peer Leaders of the Suicide Prevention Program and their advisor, school adjustment counselor, Mr. Kevin Lalli, as well as Mrs. Pollard from the Language Department. Thank you to all those who helped organize and those who participated!