If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or know someone who is, there is help available. You can call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 for free and confidential support 24/7. Jonah Barrow, an 18-year-old high school senior from Katy, Texas, who attempted suicide nine months ago, wants to spread a message of hope to teens struggling with mental health issues. He hopes to change at least one person’s mind and give them relief from their suffering. Barrow struggled with his mental health in middle school and again in high school due to the transition to a new school and new friends. However, he found his niche playing guitar and was making progress until the day of his suicide attempt. Barrow felt lost and worthless, thinking he had no future, and believed everyone around him was in a bad mood.
Barrow’s grandma, Lori Burrow, believes that it’s essential to reach out to people and not stop trying to connect with them during tough times. Suicide is a significant concern for high school students, with about 24 percent of girls and 12 percent of boys reporting making a suicide plan. Suicide ranks third among all deaths for students aged 14 to 18, highlighting the need for mental health support. It’s crucial to talk to teens about suicide and make them feel safe and open to communication. Common risk factors for suicide include depression, bullying, loss of relationships, and social isolation, according to the CDC.
Talking about his mental health struggles helped Jonah Barrow find healing and hope. He learned that it becomes easier when you start talking about it. One of the critical steps parents can take is to discuss suicide with their children and focus on listening to their reactions. Besides, music was a tool for him to regain his mobility, endurance, and emotional regulation in rehab. Music therapy is a powerful tool as it affects every part of the brain differently, creating a space for processing emotion, trauma, and grief. For Jonah, reconnecting with music has been a turning point in his recovery and life goals.
Jonah Barrow graduates from high school this month and plans to attend college to work in the music industry. He understands that mental health struggles look different to everyone and encourages people who suffer in silence to speak the truth.