Columbus 7th graders learn in class ways to prevent suicide

Columbus Gifted Academy (10TV)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (10TV) -- A seventh-grade science class takes on a unique form at the Columbus Gifted Academy.

"Right now, we've been learning about the periodic table," said 12-year old Mira Einhorn.

In addition to learning about chemical elements, the students also learn about the signs of suicide.

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"I took it upon myself, not even as the science teacher, but just as their teacher and someone who cares about them," said Elise Bodnyk, a 7th grade science teacher at CGA. The two-day, in-class workshop titled SOS (Signs of Suicide) teaches students the warnings to look out for in their friends and within themselves.

"I did have a friend who basically texted me as the last person before they were about to commit it," Einhorn explained. "So, I had to talk them out of that, and that was really scary for me."

Kira Anderson, also a 7th grader, went through the training too.

"I feel so sad that people feel that sad and depressed and lonely that they [feel they] should end their life," said Anderson.

The workshop centralizes around the acronym A.C.T -- which means Acknowledge, Care and Tell.

"Sometimes middle schoolers think they can handle problems on their own," Bodnyk said. "So, the biggest part of A.C.T that they don't always follow through on is the "T" part — the telling. So, I make sure they know and can identify several adults in their life who they are comfortable telling."

The students also learn coping mechanisms and ways to combat things like depression and mental illness.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing how I can help my friends and my family," Anderson said.

Nationwide Children's Hospital offers SOS training at their hospital facilities and various schools.