Metro Area Suicide Prevention Council Invites RESPECT to Perform “Choices”

RESPECT presented Choices for the Metro Area Suicide Prevention Council (MASPC) on July 23. Coalition members represent school districts, mental health agencies, law enforcement, mental health professionals and other advocacy based organizations who work collaboratively to prevent suicide and provide support and a wide array of services and resources to those experiencing depression as well as to the people who care about them.

Choices is a “menu” program that allows an organization to select three mental health topics that are of the most concern to their student community. The menu includes: body image; dating violence; bullying; self-harm; drugs; alcohol; suicide & depression; negative peer pressure. MASPC selected scenes on suicide & depression, self-harm and negative peer pressure. The three scenes, with focus on those topics, blend into one educational theatre play. Upon completion, students share questions as an audience (some openly, some written on index cards) and also participate in interactive role-play and improvisation exercises. The goal is to facilitate conversations among students about different ways to help themselves and each other in challenging situations, how to get help, where to get help and to share important resources and accurate mental health information.

The feedback from participants was excellent:

  • “Did we seem underwhelmed? It was a shockingly accurate portrayal of what we experience day after day in working with kids,” said one therapist.
  • Another therapist noted, “What a great way to share information – it’s nonthreatening, but so real. And a super way for them to share with each other and know they are not alone. That they all experience these things more often than they can imagine but are too afraid to share.”
  • “This RESPECT program is an amazing resource for our community.”