Denison ISD hosts teen suicide awareness documentary screening

Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 6:15 PM CST
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DENISON, Texas (KXII) - Wednesday night, Denison ISD hosted a viewing of a teen suicide awareness documentary. Why educators are saying it’s important now more than ever, and when you can view the film next.

The film My Ascension is based on a true story of a Louisiana teen and her survival after attempting to take her own life. She shares her message of hope to other teens struggling with depression and anxiety; something Denison ISD educators say is perfect timing for their students in the middle of the pandemic.

“She was a cheerleader, she was a good student, but she suffered with depression and anxiety all her life, and she really didn’t know how to go about getting help,” said Special Education Counselor for Denison ISD, Jackie Melancon.

The Grant Halliburton Foundation and Newport Healthcare are sponsoring the screening of the documentary My Ascension.

“Her suicide attempt left her paralyzed and this is about her journey through that,” said Melancon.

They encourage students to watch the film together as a family to use as an education tool for mental health, signs of suicide and where to get help.

“Having it come from a student perspective changes everything and makes it much more real. And that’s what we need to do is we need to get real stories into the hands of these kids so that they can see that it’s not just them,” said Director of Communications for Denison ISD, Brian Eaves.

Tonight’s viewing has run out of spots, but Denison ISD will provide access to a second showing in the spring.

“Depression and anxiety is kind of taboo in our society, or mental health, and it has a stigma related to it and so people don’t ask for help,” said Melancon.

The district says their teachers have seen student stress levels reach higher heights than ever since the start of the pandemic.

“It could be teenagers in high school all the way down to elementary schools. They’re feeling the strain of the changes we’re all having to make at this point in time and the fear is real,” said Eaves.

They hope the film will inspire hope and spark conversation.

“It’s about a message of hope and how you can get help. And that you don’t have to suffer alone, and the bravest thing that you can do is ask for help,” said Melancon.

Click here to watch the full trailer for My Ascension.

The Here For Texas Mental Health Navigation Line is a free resource that helps connect you with information and professional help for mental health and substance use issues. They provide a searchable database to help you locate the best mental health provider for your needs.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or crisis, these are some local and national crisis hotlines.

The Texoma Community Center crisis line is available 24/7 at 877-277-2226.

Text the word “HELLO” to 741-741 to connect with a crisis counselor for free, 24/7.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available for free, 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.

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