Suicide doesn’t have a face

Andrew Izzo is the 3rd Senior from the left, #11

Paige Hunt, Special Health Class correspondent

On Wednesday, September 26th we had a special guest come into our health class. Kaleigh Izzo is the sister of Andrew Izzo. Andrew sadly took his life on Feb. 7th, 2013. Andrew was the captain of the soccer and the basketball teams, and he also ran track. Before Andrew passed he was selected  by his coaches to receive a Leadership Award. He was quick to smile and offer hugs to family and friends.

Kaleigh Izzo talked to us about the scholarship in Andrew’s memory. It got started by friends and family wanting to keep Andrew’s memory alive and to help educate the community about suicide prevention, and to bring a better understanding about mental illness. The scholarship award goes to a student who embodies the qualities of Andrew. For example, Andrew was loyal, kindhearted and outgoing. A student, teacher, or someone from the community etc. can nominate you.

If you notice a sudden change to someone, for example, their loss of interest, sudden mood changes, complaints of physical pain, or change in sleep, they could be experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts. If someone you know is showing those signs, here are ways to help:

  • Start a conversation with that person, ask them how their day is going or how they are feeling
  • Listen to what they have to say and express your concern about them.
  • Finally, get help. Talk to someone, a parent, guardian, friend, siblings, counselor, and even a teacher.

You are important and if you feel like ending your life seek help. Have someone you can call in a time of need, workout, or call the hotline National Suicide Prevention hotline 1-800-273-8255.

You’re never alone.


Here are some comments from students who heard Miss Izzo’s presentation:

Holden D- I was surprised how collected and great she was at talking about it and I had assumed that she had done it before.

Adam H- She is very courageous by talking about her little brother.

Kedence- Kaleigh had empowered me to help support the suicide awareness run on Sunday the 30th of September.  I was very proud of her because she was very brave to come on Wednesday and share what happened and not cry! I was so proud and just overall impressed.

Matt W- Kaleigh’s presentation made me want to reach out and check on my friends to make sure they’re ok.

Trevor C- I think Kaleigh Izzo was brave of her to talk about her brother and suicide prevention and it opened my eyes to how suicide affects people and how they overcome the sadness.

Isabella M- Kaleigh’s visit was very powerful. I felt moved when she said there isn’t a face to suicide.  It made me aware that anyone could be feeling overly depressed and you have to help classmates as much as you can.

Selena- Kaleigh opened my eyes to suicide/depression. “Depression doesn’t have a face.”

Joey S- Kaleigh did a good giving her message about suicide prevention and awareness.

Joey H- It was sad and it really hit me how hard suicide is to think about and talk about.

Kaitlin P- It was brave that she came in and talked to us because it was probably very emotional for her to be surrounded by teens that she doesn’t know but talk about something so personal and serious.

Brandon S- It helped me better understand what people go through vs. how they look in person.

Bella P- I thought having Kaleigh here was a great experience.  I think she’s a strong woman that has a lot of courage to talk about something so sensitive.

Leanne R- I like how informative she was and that she showed us ways to get help because, besides health class, mental health is pretty neglected in this school.

Ella U- I was very surprised to find out that Andrew was very into sports and was very social and completed suicide because most people who attempt suicide feel socially awkward, un-social, and aren’t involved much.  

Josh H- Kaleigh did a great job spreading her message about suicide.  She had a lot of courage to come in and talk about it.