I am going to BE BOLD tonight and write about a subject that I have stayed clear from.
The topic is one of controversy up here in Canada I believe as we are afraid of the contagion effects of ‘teen suicide’ as was written about in by the Canadian Medical Association this week. An article was posted tonight from the U.S. titled “Teens suicide highlights issues painful complexities” or “Ending the silence about suicide”. Same article .. different titles. Topic of conversation – Suicide Prevention vs the Contagion Effect.
How to start the discussion. I screenshot some excerpts from the U.S. article that popped out at me. Adolescent suicide doesn’t always occur because of bullying. It is a misconception. There are other factors involved. As a parent of a child who took her own life, I think it is important to talk about the subject. Both at home, as a community and in school. The kids need to know that they are not alone. They need to know that they can talk to someone about their problems. They need to know that TAKING THEIR LIFE IS NOT THE ANSWER. I am not an expert in psychology but I have talked to enough kids in the past 8 months. Many are afraid to talk to someone about what they are feeling. They feel alone and scared. They feel they can’t talk to their parents. Why can’t there be suicide prevention discussions. Why is it that in this 24 hour span, I have had two teen message me saying that they are feeling so depressed that they are scared. I convinced one to go to the Kids Help Phone. He was scared to but finally did. He wouldn’t call them but went on the on-line chat. It took him some time to get through. Then it shut down due to the time limitations. This boy wouldn’t call as he didn’t want to ‘talk’, he only wanted to type. He would have been good with texting also. The other teen just needed someone to listen and needed some sleep.
I can say that as a parent of Amanda, it was scary to talk about the subject as I too was afraid that it would put ideas in her head. BUT .. the ideas were already in her head. She needed the talks to let her know she wasn’t alone. She often shared with me that she felt like the only person with depression/anxiety until she found others on the internet. She asked for support groups in our community but I couldn’t find any. She said that she wanted to talk to others who felt the same way as her.
So why can’t we talk about mental health with our adolescents more than we do. It shouldn’t be a dark bubble we keep hidden away. It seems like the more that happens, the quieter it gets. Can our government put more funding into Child/Youth Mental Health around the province? Can they bring back the $$ that were cut back last October? Why is it that there seems to be more kids that are anxious or depressed?
For crying out loud … it’s like teaching Safe Sex to our kids. It needs to be done!!! So if we don’t talk about it in the school, should it be done only at home? Or the teens with their peers? I have had so many kids feel so guilty about not helping or being there for Amanda. It shouldn’t be that way. Amanda became ashamed at talking about it because she was afraid of being called the ‘C’ or the ‘P’ word. It is not Amanda that should have been ashamed. It should have been the kids that used those words. If we discussed and taught life lessons surrounding this, then maybe kids wouldn’t call others ‘crazy’ or ‘psycho’ and eventually stigmatize them to themselves and others.
If you are a teenager reading this blog post, please make a comment to it or to me personally.
Please look at the titles on the links:
FACTS AND CAUSES – http://bodyandhealth.canada.com/condition_info_details.asp?disease_id=135
On the positive side, I was ‘BEING BOLD’ today. Here is one of the pics:
All true descriptors of my Princess Snowflake ….
Love both my kids with all my heart .. xoxo