Joanna Lucy Graham

Joanna Lucy Graham, on the outside was a young, bubbly teenager. A musician and a true creative. Hard-working and a pleasure to teach, to say the least. However Joanna was troubled and decided to take her own life just over a year ago. It was a tragedy that broke my heart. Knowing the beautiful person she was and thinking if I could have done more led me to some very dark, grieving places.

The tragedy of a teengager dying because of overwhelming hopelessness or frustration is devastating to family, friends, and the surrounding community. Even though it is not always preventable, parents, friends and others are often left wondering if they could have done more for the specific person.

Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which is pretty high considering. One of those deaths came in the form of a former student of mine.

To deal with this tragedy I have decided to collect donations for teenagers at my school who may need a shoulder to lean on, an ear, advice or just someone to chat to. This will help me, in Joanna’s memory make a difference to the youngsters that may need it most. Those who are often suffering in silence but that one person could be able to make a difference too.

With the donations collected I will be giving every student the chance to speak to a professional who can guide and help them with anything and everything the need – whether it is personal or academic related. Let’s make sure Joanna’s memory is used to influence other people in her position for the better! Thank you!

Click here to donate.

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