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New club spreads mental health awareness

FRI. | 04-08-22 | FEATURES

     Being left with nothing but negative thoughts, signs of insomnia, no desire to do things that you used to enjoy, having daily mood swings, and fighting a battle with your own mind. These are the main signs of depression which can eventually lead up to someone taking their own life. 

     Rose sophomore Sydney Evans is the chapter leader of the Please Stay Project at Rose. The Please Stay Project is an initiative to spread awareness on teens’ mental health and to encourage students to seek help. It was initially organized at Arendell Parrott Academy (APA) by Susannah Swindell. 

     “I found out about the project from a friend who thought I’d be a great fit to be the chapter leader at Rose,” Evans said.

     The Please Stay Project at APA was originally set up as a movement, but Evans has different plans when bringing it to Rose. 

     “Since the Please Stay Project has spread out to other schools, we are trying to make it a club that other people can join,” Evans said.

     In order for Evans to make it a club, she must have at least 20 members to present to principal Darryl Thomas. After the club becomes certified, it would need a teacher advisor.

      Evans brought this project to Rose because she wanted to bring awareness about suicide, particularly since it was

project please stay

Photos by Malaysha Hardy

familiar to her due to some of her friends struggling with suicidal thoughts. 

     “After I brought the club to Rose, many people [directly messaged] me and told me they were going through the same thing,” Evans said.

     For Evans, suicide hits close to home and has become her motivation to bring awareness. 

     “I lost someone who was like a grandmother to me [from the pandemic]; she never fully recovered,” Evans said. “Her brain was never the same, which eventually led her to commit suicide.”

     Because of this tragic incident, Evans gained the motivation to help others, including friends who have had negative thoughts. 

     “A lot of my friends struggle with not committing… and I've personally helped them get through it,” Evans said. “It makes me feel really good to help them, so I want to help as many people as I can… through it.”

     According to, Suicides have gone up by 50% in this past year, and the Please Stay Project helps bring awareness to this issue by putting up posters in school and shining the light on this problem.

     “I feel like through growing this project, I can help other people and let their voices be heard,” Evans said.

     Considering that the project is fairly new and still growing, there are not any upcoming events, but the project has had a positive impact on the Rose community.

     “We sell t-shirts and we give the money to other organizations that help people with their mental health,” Evans said.

     There are many ways for people to help and get involved with the project.

     “Right now, people can help spread [the]word by reposting our social media and spreading positivity and kindness,” Evans said.

     People can also help by joining to eventually make it a full-time club at Rose.

     “We have an Instagram account called @jhr_pps, and that is how we are communicating with members,” Evans said.

     Along with the many ways people can help or join, Evans has advice for people who have trouble not committing.

     “I want the people who have a hard time not committing to understand you’re so loved; I promise the pain is temporary,” Evans said. “Your life matters and we want you to stay; you're not alone in this.”

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