Suicide should be offered as a box to check on a medical form requesting how family members have died. According to Dr. David Shaffer, the director of child and adolescent psychology at Columbia University, suicide is almost twice as common if there is a history of suicide in the family. If that's true, why isn't there a box for death from suicide on the medical form?
For my family, suicide ranks right up there with family deaths from cancer, heart attack and lung disease. Our family doesn’t like to talk about it. We can talk a lot about lung disease and how to prevent it. Why don’t we talk about suicide and how to prevent it?
The News and Observer included two articles that can help jumpstart the conversation in your home. Sunday's article share's the story of Zane, a 16-year-old who dreamed of college and according to his Dad was a normal teenager. Zane's parents want to raise awareness of teen depression and suicide. Above all, they don’t want anyone else to go through their experience
The article that ran on October 20 indicates that the number of youth suicides in NC has doubled in the last decade.
"Every child who dies by suicide is a preventable tragedy," said Michelle Hughes, executive director of NC Child
In 2010, I helped lead the effort for a school community to talk about suicide among teens. The effort was born out of the grief over the loss of two high school students who died from suicide. The picture on the left of this blog post is from the community walk held at Green Hope High School. We thought maybe 100 would show up. We were blown away when over 300 students and community members came out for the event.
Through the commitment of Victoria Bennis and Maryanne Monaco, the effort turned into Helping Save a Life, a nonprofit that continues to share information on teen suicide prevention.
September is National Suicide Prevention month and a great time to have conversations that saves lives and share resources.
I like the Yellow Ribbon Program. The simplicity of the program and the focus on youth being the foundation to help others is what has made the Yellow Ribbon program one of the most successful outreach efforts in the nation. More than 250,000 people have been touched by this effort with an estimated five million “Ask 4 Help”cards have been distributed.
The wallet-sized cards have the message “I need to use my yellow ribbon” on one side. When a teen is feeling depressed or unable to cope, he simply hands the card over to a trusted adult. The information on the other side of the card includes the suicide prevention lifeline number (1-800-273-8255) and helps the adult know how to respond to the troubled teen by offering the following tips:
What's your best resource for suicide prevention? Post it in the comment section below. Let's get a conversation going today that saves lives!
Liza is the Faith Filter columnist for the Cary News. Her stories of faith and lives changed by trusting in God are published about four times a year.