Health

Teacher's Response to Her Student's Suicide Attempt Goes Viral

June 1st 2016

By:
Laura Donovan

A Colorado teacher's viral Facebook post is inspiring a real conversation about suicide.

Brittni Darras

Brittni Darras, a teacher at Rampart High School in Colorado Springs, revealed in a recent Facebook post that she wrote thank you notes to her 130 students after she specifically penned a letter to one student following that student's suicide attempt.

The student who tried to commit suicide could not believe that anyone would say nice things about her, prompting Darras to send all of her students a letter in case any of them needed support and love in their lives.

"My student got the letter; her mom said that her daughter cried, turned to her mom and said, 'How could somebody say such nice things about me? I didn’t think anybody would miss me if I was gone,'" Darras wrote. "It made me realize that I was way too close to losing another student to suicide. I spent the next 2 months writing cards to every one of my students- over 100 of them- telling each one what is special and unique about them."

Youth suicide is a major problem in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second most common cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24.

 

"Suicide is growing to be more and more common, and I can’t help but to think that it’s a direct result of the pressure we put on these kids- to be successful, to fit in, to be the best in their class/sport/etc.," Darras continued. "We need to remember that each human being is unique, and that is what makes them special. Instead of trying to change it, we need to embrace it, because together, we can make a difference, and we can save lives! ‪#‎suicideawareness‬"

Darras' post has been shared more than 180,000 times and received 230,000 reactions on Facebook:

Facebook

NBC news station affiliate station KOAA reported that the student who attempted suicide had deleted all of her social media profiles and written goodbye letters to various people, prompting someone to send a suicide tip to police through the app Safe2Tell. Darras told KOAA that she and the student's mother were "both in tears" over the suicide attempt and that it made her realize as an educator that "something needs to be done to make these kids realize that they're special."

Bree Wuthier, one of Darras' students, told KOAA that she was surprised by the detail and length of the letter she received.

"Usually when people write letters, it's like one or two sentences, like either 'Happy Birthday,' or 'Merry Christmas,' or 'I hope you're doing fine,'" Wuthier said. "It was just incredible. She has such an eye, like to see things and to actually listen to her students."