Youth Suicide: The rise and what you can do to help

depressed treeI looked at a little 7th grade girls picture from our community and couldn’t help but sympathize and agonize over the thought that she came to the conclusion at such a young vulnerable age that suicide was her solution.

As a former teacher I was notified on two occasions that a child in my class had ended their life. It hurt me personally, but it also hurt to watch how the other students dealt with it, not to mention the pain it caused their parents.

As you know, today kids can be vicious toward each other, some going so far as to talk smack on social media and even send kids video ideas on how to kill themselves. There is an epidemic happening right in front of us.

Here are some things to help:

  • Be willing to talk about this subject. Many just want their voice to be heard. Listen first.
  • Don’t tell people what to do, show them. There is a powerful principle in God’s Word about our thoughts. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
  • There is a good tool out there with the acronym SLAP DIRT. It suggest using these 8 steps when helping someone through a difficult time.
    • Specific Plan – Do they have a specific time frame and plan to carry out the act?
    • Lethality – How deadly is the plan? Do they talk about overdosing on vitamins or specifically about shooting themselves in the head. If so they have my full attention.
    • Availability (of means) Do they have the ability to carry it out.
    • Proximity (of help) How close is help can indicate determination. For example, did the person make some excuse to move in with another family member to “help them”, only to make that as an excuse to get away to a private isolated place so he wouldn’t be interrupted. Keep them near by.
    • Dangerousness – how dangerous were the previous attempts? Look for patterns.
    • Impression – What is your friends impression of how dangerous her previous attempts were?
    • Rescue – How did your friend survive previous attempts? Did people come to the rescue?
    • Timing – Some attempt hoping to be rescued. Some miscalculate and end up with permanent damage.

Suicide persons often send out conflicting signals. One of the most dangerous times in on the way down. When they bottom out you might see some extra energy the last couple of days. Their apparent happiness is from the energy they have created to finally carry it out.

Some don’t want to risk getting involved because of their own safety. Of course, your personal safety is priority one. You don’t need to become a victim also. But don’t ignore their pleas for help.

Hope if you are suffering from depression

If you are reading this and contemplating suicide, please know that worldly grief produces death according to 2 Corinthians 7:10. Rid yourself of worry and riches that only stand in the way of healing. “Do not be anxious about your life…life is more than food, the body and what you will wear…..” Luke 12:16-32. Relieve your worry through prayer. Get rid of anger that only stands in the way of healing. Confess your pride, it only stands in the way of your healing. Think on how Jesus suffered for you so that you don’t have to suffer (Read Heb 12:1-3). Focus on the positive in your life.

It is Satan’s lie to have you believe you are not worth it. It’s his lie to convince you to keep it to yourself. Please tell someone your feelings and please let the God of all comfort give you hope and grace, comfort your heart and realize this, there is always hope. Don’t give up. You are loved.

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