Association News
Essay Contest Excerpts
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 13 page 21-21

The 2001 APA Alliance Essay Contest received thousands of submissions with poignant stories and expressions of fear and heartfelt concern. The following passages are from the winning essays.

"I didn’t call his parents; I didn’t tell my mom; I didn’t tell anyone. I did what I thought was the right thing to do at the time. I thought I was being a good friend. He trusted me with his life, and I failed, so the best friend I ever had is dead."

  —Robert Hatt of Lexington, Ky.

"As Billy became more and more violent in school, his friends started to become more and more worried. Finally, Billy’s friend George asked Billy if anything was bothering him at home. Billy broke down and told George what his dad was doing to him, but threatened he would kill George if George told anyone."

  —Jami DeVolder of Sherrard, Ill.

"There were warning signs. She spent hours locked away in her room, either lying on her bed staring at her ceiling or writing depressing poetry. I’ll never forget when Kelly discovered it and showed the poems to me. ‘Maybe the angels would accept me as I am,’ one said. It scared me, but I never told anyone."

  —Jennifer Nobles of Philadelphia

"It’s been over a month since I made that call. I feel a huge weight lifted from my heart, but it sure hasn’t been easier. Brian hasn’t spoken to me in over three weeks. The school counselor says that Brian’s getting help, that I was a true friend. I wish that I could believe him."

  —Lance Jones of Lamar, Colo.

Note: The names of the children in the essays have been changed to protect their privacy.

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