Lara Rosenberg, Shomrei Torah, 12th Grade
HOFW: What is the name of the organization you are involved with?
Lara: I work primarily with Calabasas high school “Peer Support”. I’m a suicide prevention specialist where I work as a peer counselor. I also work on twitter anonymously as well. My job consists of working with people who have suicidal tendencies, depression, and mental issues, really anyone who needs counseling at my school. All in all, if someone needs help I help them.
HOFW: What inspired you to get involved with this organization?
Lara: Personally I didn’t enjoy high school my first two years. I didn’t have a good time and I struggled through parts of it. When I started a twitter account I found a community of people posting nasty, unnecessary things. I reached out to the people posting these absurd tweets and found out I liked helping out people. Shortly after I discovered that my school had a peer-counseling club. Now I’m a leader and helping more and more people frequently.
HOFW: How could USYers help spread the word and or get involved?
Lara: Suicide is a very important issue to me. Its not talked enough about, and it’s an issue that’s pushed under the rug. We talk a lot about bullying and combating it, but not as much as to what could happen beyond that. The best way to spread the word about suicide is educating it first and helping out people at potential risk. Join groups that are allies for people that are in this position, it really can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
HOFW: Any specific stories you want to share?
Lara: A girl on twitter reached out to me once and we began to talk to her for a while. She had done a lot of self-harm and underwent a lot of depression. She wasn’t in a great situation so we started finding solutions and ways to get out her anger and anxiety. A few months after our talk I finally had the chance to meet her at a concert. It was such an amazing feeling to see her so healthy and happy and truly boosted my passion to strive to help more people. When you see help someone who started off so unhappy become so much more confident with friends and a smile on their face you know the work is definitely worth it.
HOFW: Any other interesting comments you would like to share?
Lara: I want people to know that suicide is a huge issue. It’s not something to hide or shy away from, but something you can get help to prevent. Hopefully someone will find this article and learn the facts and talk to people about it, helping someone in need. Less people should feel unhappy about their lives.