You Are Not Alone (YANA) Club

Kalina Almario, Reporter

Your Are Not Alone (YANA) is a club that started at West in 2014 that was led by students. It’s a club where students get together to spread suicide prevention and support.

Teachers, counselors and students who are involved in the club are encouraging others to join their weekly meetings. The YANA Club meets in the Library every Tuesday at lunch and everyone is welcome to join.

The main purpose of the club is to provide guidance for those who feel isolated. By doing simple deeds, the members of the YANA club believe they can make a difference.

“If I see you’re alone, I’ll say ‘hi’ to you,” said Lauren Eastman. Lauren is a 15-year-old junior at West. She believes that the programs and clubs at West can help bring people together and they’re an easy way to make friends.

Katherine Murray and Kathryn Cassello were the first ones at West to start suicide prevention awareness. After starting the club, they encouraged others to help. To encourage students, they came up with the ideas to show awareness.

They have social events that gather a lot of people together and posted up sticky notes on lockers to uplift students. The members of the club also gave out yellow wristbands that have a care line number incase students feel that they need help.

Besides students, teachers and other adults are involved in the club. Mrs. Lourdes Crawford has been at West High since 1990 and she’s involved in many school activities and clubs.

“I love the students, otherwise I’d be retired a long time ago,” Crawford said. She enjoys helping the students and staff as much as she can. She was one of the staffs that started the YANA club.

“To let the students who might not feel that they’re included, that they are people who might want to be part of their sphere of friends or acquaintances,” Crawford said. The YANA club wants to show that they are people out there who care.

Students’ involved want to make a positive influence, and let others be aware of the people around them.

A practicum student from UAA, Stephanie Hsu helps spread the word about suicide prevention. “Suicide prevention is really important and I think it’s really good to get awareness out there,” Hsu said. She has been part of the YANA club since August 2015 and has been attending the meetings ever since.

YANA trains students in QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) suicide prevention practices for troubled teens. The training helps students to understand and connect with those who are struggling.

To spread suicide prevention and support, they want people to understand how important it is to spread awareness. In order to help others, the members of the club try their best to get everyone involved.