OYAN Review: QPR: Question. Persuade. Refer.

This post is an article from the Winter 2018 issue of the OYAN Review and has been edited slightly for publication on the blog. It was written by Julie Jeanmard at the Cottage Grove Public Library.

Cindy Womack presented a workshop at the OYAN fall meeting from the QPR Institute about suicide prevention. Suicide is preventable and intervention does help. In fact, survivors of suicide attempts report immediate regret once the action was taken and a want to live. It is often a solution to a perceived problem that stems from pain and hopelessness. Three signs of suicide can be direct or indirect comments, behavioral cues, or situational circumstances. Comments can include “I am going to… (harm myself).” or “I don’t want to be here anymore.” Behavioral cues might be previous attempts, giving away one’s belongings, cleaning out their room/locker, or religious interest gain or loss. Some circumstances that can trigger suicidal thoughts are expulsion from school, loss of a relationship, death of a loved one, financial in- security, fear of punishment (for example, juvenile detention), or rejection from peers/friends.

The first step in prevention is to question the person. Continue reading

And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

Reviewed by Ian Duncanson, Beaverton City Library

andwestayAnd We Stay is written in both verse and prose, with an emphasis on the latter. Emily Beam’s junior year of high school in the mid-’90s was cut short when her boyfriend Paul took a gun to school and committed suicide in front of her in the library. Traumatized from the experience and unable to return to her normal high school, Emily has enrolled in a boarding school in Amherst, MA where she seeks comfort in being alone, writing poetry, and bonding with her new roommate. She also throws herself into the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson, finding strength and hope in the works of the dark and enigmatic American literary figure who lived and attended school in Amherst. As the story progresses, we learn more details about Emily and Paul’s relationship and what drove him to suicide.

I’m normally not one for poetry in prose stories or novels written in verse, but I thought that the poems in And We Stay (written from Emily’s perspective) were strong and provided insight into the character and her coping with violent trauma. Even though the cliché boarding school setting might elicit an initial groan, it does not play a lot into the story. Hubbard focuses more on Emily’s thoughts, growth and literary interests than on the surrounding boarding school life and antics. With school violence in the news, And We Stay is a timely story about a broken person left traumatized in the aftermath of another’s actions and healing through the support of friends.