Editorial: Reaching Out

Following a swell in the number of student suicides, the Loudoun community is rallying to ensure troubled teens have access to resources that can help them survive. That effort is ongoing in the halls of government and the hallways of public schools.

One extraordinary project grew from the rooms of a special teen center in Middleburg. A Place to Be has long served as a safe haven for teens battling social or mental health struggles. Its staff and students are well aware of the thoughts of helplessness, hopelessness and loneliness that lead to senseless, tragic endings. They have teamed with a mother whose son hanged himself outside his high school less than a year ago to offer teens a message of hope in a way teachers and counselors cannot—through the thundering amps of a rock opera.

The project is extraordinary in another way, too. School administrators have embraced it and made plans to have the show performed in every Loudoun high school over the next 18 months. That’s an unprecedented partnership—and one that just might help save a life.

A theme of the show is that is it never too late to reach out to somebody. The lesson of this project is to not limit the ways you reach out.