SDYS Voices: Cherie Foraker
Meet Cherie Foraker, a counselor at Mountain Empire High School who works with HERE Now, our suicide prevention and intervention program.
“I have found that after students receive education on mental health and suicide prevention, they are not only able to recognize warning signs, but they’re also empowered to reach out and help those in need. Recently a student came to me to identify another student who wasn’t considered a friend but seemed to need help. That small act enabled me to respond to a student in a difficult moment. It was the perfect time to help a student who was spiraling down in hurt. The school community is vital to the well-being of all. Personally, I have been able to respond to the mental health needs of my family because I have gained much education in mental health and suicide prevention. I have leaned into conversations that many fear. I have provided comfort and stability when my family and my students have been in a moment of feeling broken. This is a hard conversation. What I can tell you is that persevering through that conversation is always worth it. Those moments of stress and fear are worth every second because those seconds can save a life. Allow yourself to feel anxious for the answers to the questions. We must do this for our community.”