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Mrs. Montana Speaks On Suicide Prevention At Sidney High School


Principal of Sidney High School, Sue Andersen, and Mrs. Montana, Sara Dukart.

Sara Dukart, 2016 Mrs. Montana, reached out to Sidney High School to share her personal story on suicide and to discuss suicide prevention. H.O.P.E. is the platform for her suicide prevention outreach, and stands for "Hold on, pain ends." Her goal is to create a world without suicide and to provide the message that there is always hope.

Dukart's personal message begins when she was born into foster care. Later in childhood, she was adopted into a good home. "Even though I was in a good home, I struggled hard with my identity and abandonment issues." As a young child, Sara got in a severe accident which left her face scarred. When she started school, she was made fun of and was called names. In middle school, she struggled and started to develop depression. "I found out that my biological mother had mental issues, and her genes also helped severe my depression with chemical imbalance in my brain."

"I went on with my depression and started to make poor choices and I wasn't asking for help," said Dukart. 8th grade was when the depression turned severe, and the emotional pain was unbearable. "It felt like there was an elephant sitting on my chest, I couldn't breathe and I couldn't handle the pain. I attempted suicide."

Sara Dukart said that it was after this incident that she really got help. "I went through intense therapy and got on medications. It didn't happen overnight and it was tough, but I'm thankful I got the help I needed and now I'm here to spread the message."

"Your illness and your past does not define you," said Dukart. "You will not always be remembered by your past. Be a light for yourself and others, depression is real." Mrs. Montana gave points on helping people with depression by saying be compassionate and understanding.

To avoid depression, she said to keep a positive mental health, and gave ways to stay away from negative mental health. "Think positive and be sociable. Do not isolate yourself. Exercise and keep a healthy diet, and always get plenty of sleep. Reduce stress, think positive, and take time for yourself."

Signs of someone having depression could be they are not sleeping enough, or sleeping too much. They start showing risky behaviors such as drinking, drugs, and forgetful actions. "If you are worried someone you know is showing signs of depression, do not be afraid to reach out to them. And don't be afraid to get outside help. Reach out to someone you trust such as parents, friends, teachers or your local pastor. Reach out and be kind."

Later in the presentation, Vicki Waddington, pastor at Sidney's Methodist church, spoke about making a difference in the community and that citizens need to teach people to reach out. She also offered her services if anyone needed to talk about their depression or anything. Deb Prevost, who runs a grief recovery program, shared her story of grief and let the high school know that she was available to anyone and everyone as well.

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Reader Comments

Toodles writes:

I want to personally thank you. March 22nd marks 3 years since my daughter died by suicide, she was 15. It has now become my purpose in life to assist in educating our youth and our community about Mental Health.Together we can all make a difference. Life is beautiful and so very precious and so full of HOPE. Thank you again for sharing your story.


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