The first week of school in Barrington has come to an end, and there’s a special celebration planned at Barrington High School tonight despite two tragic suicides in the past two weeks linked to Barrington School District 220. The student group formed last year to combat a recent trend of teen suicides in Barrington is celebrating their accomplisments with new energy and a stronger commitment than ever to help kids in crisis.
HERE is an acronym which stands for Help, Encouragement, Resources and Education. The group came together in June of 2009 and formed alliances with several mental health resources in the community. HERE is celebrating its successes tonight with a festival before the season’s first football game at Barrington High School. They’ll have food, drinks, music and fun from 5-7 tonight in the front high school parking lot off West Main Street and the whole community is invited to join the party.
The celebration is HERE’s way of showing the commuinty that they’re stronger and more determined than ever, after the suicide of a high school student last week and a middle school employee this week. District 220 Chief Communications Officer, Dr. Jeff Arnett, says the group will not be deterred in their efforts. He says, if anything, these events have reinforced that they are needed and they are making a difference.
Dr. Arnett says HERE members are getting feedback from parents, social workers and counselors that their work is paying off and they’re ready to start the new school year with a strong focus on letting kids in need know there are places to turn for help. For more information about HERE’s mission, visit their website at HereinBarrington.org.