BROOKLYN, Mich. (WILX)-- News 10's Lora Painter met up with students at Columbia Central High School in Brooklyn who get an education on some tough life lessons thanks to a special forum from local professionals. "Forum Day" is the school's annual event devoted to topics touching many teenagers' lives.
Some topics are light hearted-- such as the choir performed and there was a special showcase to encourage students to donate to the school's canned food drive. But the heart of the forum rests in the serious discussions put forward by 20 educators, including law enforcement and therapists, in lecture sessions and panels. In this year's day-long forum, students learned about various topics such as overcoming obstacles and challenges; opioid addiction; and teen suicide and depression.
Tanner Stevens, a senior at CCHS, said, "It's so much different hearing about the tough issues from someone who's gone through it."
Max Gregg, a senior, said, "When you actually get that chance to meet these speakers and understand their back stories and be able to relate to them and understand the actual emotions that are tied to that, it's very eye opening."
The topics are serious, but the students said the discussions are worth the time, and can save lives. Doug McComas, a therapist in Jackson, has been speaking to students at "Forum Day" for the past several years about how to deal with depression and suicide.
McComas said the speakers want to "Give them the tools about how they get help to make sure that their friends are as safe as they can be.The number one trigger for a teenager for suicide is the end of a relationship...That can be the tipping point for someone to make a choice like that."
State and National Resources -
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
I'm Alive National Suicide Hotline
lhttps://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ Information and access to "chat"