Monday, June 13, 2011

Reach Out!

I was amazed with the statement from the video that stated suicide was the 3rd largest cause of  death among youth between 15-25.  After checking my facts from the CDC,  I was even more appalled at the information given there.  According to the CDC , suicide is the third largest cause of death  for youth from 10-24 years old. According to this statistic that means 4400 young people loose their  life every year senselessly.   I AM/WAS shocked that this statistic included 10 year old children.

As I read these stats, I wondered  in consternation  how  a 10, 11, 12,  year old  child could get so very lost - to the point of trying to end their  life.   I can only imagine the pain  children must be experiencing if they are willing to go to this length to stop it.   It breaks my heart, and it makes me want to just hug every child  I see, letting them know what a fantastic, wonderful, creature God has created in them.   I wish there really was fairy magic, and I could jump around the world hugging every child I met.

Unfortunately I have to deal with reality and logistics so hugging every child on the planet might be impossible, but I can let the children in my world  know someone cares about them and just how very special each and everyone of them are.    I can also get this message out to everyone I know.   We all need to be vigilant about saving these young people and making this statistic a thing of the past.

Below I've shared some important information to be aware of when dealing with  young people as well as some important numbers and websites to notify if you or someone you know need help.

Factors that increase the risk of suicide

v  A psychological disorder, especially depression, bipolar disorder, and alcohol and drug use (in fact, approximately 95% of people who die by suicide have a psychological disorder at the time of death)
v  Feelings of distress, irritability, or agitation
v  Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness that often accompany depression (a teen, for example, who experiences repeated failures at school, who is overwhelmed by violence at home, or who is isolated from peers is likely to experience such feelings)
v  A previous suicide attempt
v  A family history of depression or suicide (depressive illnesses may have a genetic component, so some teens may be predisposed to suffer major depression)
v  Physical or sexual abuse
v  Lack of a support network, poor relationships with parents or peers, and feelings of social isolation
v  Dealing with homosexuality in an unsupportive family or community or hostile school environment

Warning Signs

v  Talk about suicide or death in general
v  Talk about "going away"
v  Talk about feeling hopeless or feeling guilty
v  Pull away from friends or family
v  Lose the desire to take part in favorite things or activities
v  Have trouble concentrating or thinking clearly
v  Experience changes in eating or sleeping habits
v  Self-destructive behavior (drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or driving too fast, for example)

Potential Triggers for Suicide 

v  Death of a parent.
v  Divorce of parents.
v  Feeling like a "pawn" that is being used between feuding, divorced parents.
v  Joining a new family with a step-parent and step-siblings.
v  Breaking up with a boyfriend / girlfriend.
v  Moving to a new community.
v  Not feeling accepted by peers.
v  Being ridiculed by classmates.
v  Feeling misunderstood.
v  Any experience perceived to be "humiliating."
v  Alcohol abuse.
v  Drug abuse.
v  Being bullied by classmates.

Getting Help and Information

1 800-SUICIDE  or 1 800-999-9999


1-800-273-talk   or 1 800-273-8255

Remember YOU are a beautiful, wonderful, creation of the Master of the Universe... 
Remember to remind someone everyday that they are too!   


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