Best of the Week 2020-2021: Holy Cross Values


Every year, St. Ed's partners with LifeAct to give suicide prevention talks to all sophomore Theology classes. LifeAct, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent teen suicide, seeks to educate students on how to recognize depression and its warning signs. The overarching goal for this presentation is to give students the necessary tools to seek help for themselves or others in need. "This presentation and focus on our students being advocates for one another fits well with our sophomore Theology course themes as well as the 2020-2021 school year theme of 'Side by Side,'" says Theology teacher Michael Yako. "In sophomore Theology, we spend a great amount of time focusing on the Catholic teaching that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God. Because of that belief, all life is considered to be sacred and all people should be treated with dignity and respect. Partnering with LifeAct allows our students to see that teaching applied in a real world scenario." Pulling from LifeAct's mission in teaching students to be the first line of defense in preventing suicide, St. Ed's "Side by Side" theme connects this vision to our Holy Cross Constitutions, that "as disciples of Jesus we stand side by side with all people. Like them, we are burdened by the same struggles and beset by the same weaknesses; like them we are made new by the same Lord's love; like them we hope for a world where justice and love prevail." LifeAct's presentation equips students with instruction from how to analyze their mood and behavior and how to communicate their feelings to a trusted adult or peer, to the best practices they can adopt to create a healthy lifestyle balance and lower stress. "This is an important topic for our students to talk about together," says Theology teacher Rick Kubrak '07. "Depression is something that some of our students may be dealing with, without anyone knowing. They may feel embarrassed to speak out about how they are feeling because they don't want to be labeled or looked down on by their family or peers. It is great to have an organization like LifeAct to give students who are experiencing depression an outlet and resources they can use to seek help." "During these presentations, students are asked to reflect on ways that they show dignity and respect to their fellow classmates, potentially saving the life of someone struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide," says Mr. Yako. "I'm always impressed with the maturity that our students show when discussing these very challenging topics. Many of our students have friends or family who have struggled with these issues and they see the importance of having this conversation. The hope is that they will now know where they can turn to for help if they or someone they know are ever in need in the future."