SM West concluded National Suicide Prevention Week with an assembly, bringing the school community together to create paper chain of names and hear an original song, “Don’t Go Away,” performed by a Shawnee Mission West High School student.
Emma Mathieson, a SM West junior, is a musician, vocalist and actor, who wrote the song for her sister-in-law who experienced the suicide of a loved one.
“I really tried to put myself in the place of someone who has lost a loved one and what they might want to say to that person,” Mathieson said. “I really hope people can connect to the message in the song.”
Her song is available on Spotify and Mathieson is donating all the proceeds from the song to the Tom Karlin Foundation. Karlin was a student at SM West who died by suicide. His father Joe Karlin spoke at Shawnee Mission West when Mathison was a freshman.
“His message was very powerful,” Mathieson said. “My song is successful if it can help one person who is having thoughts about suicide or comforts a survivor.”