On May 22nd Dr. Revathi Vikram, Board member of ASHA for Women, was invited to have a conversation with students at the Bethesda Chevy Chase High School in Maryland, kicking off a program initiated by the students.
The program started by these enterprising and foresighted students seeks to address the recent increase in suicides among High School students and understand some of the possible causes.
What is Domestic Violence? How does it affect teens exposed to DV or hearing about friends who may be dealing with it? The conversation involved definitions and the physical, social, and mental health consequences of DV upon those exposed to it. They talked about anxiety, depression, bullying, poor school performance, diminished concentration and attention, as well as suicide (violence directed towards the self) and violent behavior directed towards others.
Possible solutions include building trust with friends, confiding in trusted teachers or other adults, not keeping it a secret and above all not blaming yourself for what happens at home. Accepting medical and psychological support when needed.
The students participated in the lively discussion. They will follow up the talk by producing artwork reflecting what they learned and how they felt. The artwork will be displayed around the school and discussed with peers.
These youths were asking the right questions. Kudos to them.