Rock star Lady Gaga is now taking action to try to save lives around the country in schools.
Students Katie Ramboyong and Jake Beyer spent part of their school year at Freedom High School in northern
Virginia keeping an eye on other students, finding any signs that one of their classmates might be in trouble.
“If there is another kid struggling you never know we could help out,” Beyer says.
Around 550 high school students spent a week in preparation to learn how to identify among their peers the signs and symptoms of mental health problems.
“Withdrawing from school, not communicating with friends, just not being as much of yourself,” says Ramboyong of the symptoms.
“I found out he had already tried to kill himself and wasn’t in a safe position,” she says.
“I went in the next day and I spoke to both of our teachers that we had, and I told her that he was not okay and that it
was urgent and that he needed support right away.”
At Freedom High School, the training helped recognize nine students who ended up going through suicide screenings due to behavioral problems.
Kenneth Christopher, the school’s director of school counseling, says they received the names of the students because of the program. “
One hundred percent of it works because it helps because our students make a difference because they’re speaking up,
they’re telling a trusted person, they’re connecting the
student with someone here at the school who might actually give them more support to help them because hopefully save some lives,” says Christopher.
The software is part of a Born This Way Foundation project with Lady Gaga.
“My dream is this happening in every school,” says the singer about the initiative.
The pilot program included eight schools and will extend to 20 more schools this fall.