Suicide prevention: Thomas Worthington junior Andrea Nadolny's mural puts issue on display

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Thomas Worthington High School junior Andrea Nadolny stands next to her suicide-awareness mural currently on display at the Community Center, 345 E. Wilson Bridge Road. Another mural is planned for this summer at the Old Worthington Library, 820 S. High St.

A Worthington Schools student hopes her latest project will bring attention to suicide and mental health. 

Andrea Nadolny, a Thomas Worthington High School junior, has partnered with the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, the Worthington Parks & Recreation Department and others in the development of research, infographics and murals to bring awareness and promote education on the issue. 

“I want to make people feel like they’re not alone,” Nadolny said. “I wanted to make sure people here in my community and locally had resources that were easy to find, accessible and really concise so you could understand what’s going on and how to get help.”

"We talk about our students changing the world in big and small ways," said Vicki Gnezda, Worthington Schools communications director. “Andrea is a great example of that.”

Nadolny, whose work is a part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project – the highest-level service project in the Girl Scouts – has developed research-back infographics in partnership with the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation that are slated to be posted on a variety of different organizational websites. Those organizations include the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation website, LifeAct Ohio, Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Worthington Schools and Worthington Libraries, among others. 

The infographics delve into a variety of pertinent topics surrounding suicide and mental health, including recognizing the signs of a person in distress and where to find help. 

In addition, Nadolny developed two mural boards. One currently is displayed in the Community Center, 345 E Wilson Bridge Road, and another is scheduled to be displayed this summer in the Old Worthington Library, 820 High St, as part of its summer reading program. 

The library mural will be interactive, she said. Visitors this summer will be able to stamp their hands with different colors onto the mural to “bring the community together.” 

“These murals represent how people in our community are struggling with their mental health and bring awareness that people right here are struggling with suicide,” she said.  

Nadolny said she was inspired to pursue the project after the loss of a friend to suicide when she was 14. She said the most striking statistic she had found in her research is that suicide is the second-leading cause of death in the United States among all ages – a statistic she found troubling. 

Nadolny’s mother, Jodi Barnhill, said her daughter has been working on this project for the past year and has spent more than 100 hours on it. 

“I am unbelievably impressed with how focused she is on it,” Barnhill said. 

“Mental health is so important for everybody,” Nadolny said. “I think understanding one another will really help people in the future with having empathy and understanding one another.”

Nadolny’s infographics can be viewed at worthington.k12.oh.us on the Health Services page under Organization. 

If you or someone you know is in a crisis situation, call 1-800-273-8255, text "4-Hope" to 741-741 or go to ohiospf.org/getting-help/.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve