In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month I am sharing an episode of Let’s Chat with Leah and Deveter. We had a show about suicide. Now that Leah is a full blown teenager we must have these hard conversations and this is one of them.
According to research the reasons behind a teen’s suicide or attempted suicide can be complex. Although suicide is relatively rare among children, the rate of suicides and suicide attempts increases greatly during adolescence.
- Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after accidents and homicide.
- It’s also thought that many more attempts are made for every completed teen suicide.
- The risk of suicide increases greatly when kids and teens have access to firearms at home, and nearly 60% of all suicides in the United States are committed with a gun. That’s why any guns in your home should be unloaded, locked, and kept out of the reach of children and teens.
- Overdose using over-the-counter, prescription, and non-prescription medicine is also a very common risk for attempting and completing suicide. It’s important to monitor carefully all medicines in your home. Know that teens will “trade” different prescription medicines at school and carry them (or store them) in their locker or backpack.
- Suicide rates differ between boys and girls. Girls think about and attempt suicide about twice as often as boys, and tend to attempt suicide by overdosing on drugs or cutting themselves. Yet boys die by suicide about four times as often girls, and experts think this is because they tend to use more lethal methods.
If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
A few years ago I was introduced to the Semicolon Project. I’m sure you’ve seen people with Semicolon tattoos. It was a social media movement started in 2013. According to UpWorthy.com they describe themselves as a “movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love, and inspire.”
But why a semicolon?
“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”
Originally created as a day where people were encouraged to draw a semicolon on their bodies and photograph it, it quickly grew into something greater and more permanent. Today, people all over the world are tattooing the mark as a reminder of their struggle, victory, and survival.
I shared this bit just to say you matter! We see you, we love you and we care. Please seek help. Your story does not need to end.
Until next time…