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"Be observant of everything and everyone around you," is a quote that many of us have instilled in our minds which truthfully, a lot of us seemed to forget.
In this era, it's not uncommon for individuals to be attached to their technological devices. It becomes a problem, however, when someone is talking to you and you are scrolling away. It's easy to get distracted by funny memes or a text.
In turn, there is an alarmingly high rate of people that commit suicide. Each year 30,000 people commit suicide each year in the United States. There are 750,000 people who attempt to commit suicide.
Honestly, if we can understand an effective way to STOP someone from committing suicide, why not take time to find out how?
It's important for us to realize that we could easily be the reason why someone decides to live on another day. 50-75% of people who attempt suicide will tell someone about their intentions. So please put down the phone and listen. It doesn't take a miracle to make a difference.
People have argued that if someone decides to take their own life, it's selfish because they're leaving all their loved ones behind. But their reasoning is completely wrong.
Of course, a suicidal individual contemplates the after effects. They are indeed thinking about their loved ones but the pain that they’re enduring is too much for them so unfortunately, they chose a way to end that pain forever.
There are also individuals that are survivors of suicide. For those of you that aren't aware of the term, being a suicide survivor logically refers to people who have attempted suicide and survived the attempt.
Former California highway patrol officer, Kevin Briggs tells a touching story on TEDTalk of how he saved someone's life, Kevin Berthia. When he asked Berthia what changed his mind from taking his life on the Golden State Bridge he answered and said, "You listened. You let me speak and you just listened."
Thanks to Briggs, Kevin Berthia, is now a contributing member of society and a father. This should highlight the idea that we need to learn how to properly communicate with an individual who is suicidal. But the reason why some of us don't know how to do that is because they are uncomfortable with discussing suicide.
The Bridge Between Suicide and Life
But why? Suicide affects people everyday all over the globe. I don't deny that suicide is a difficult topic to speak upon but that doesn't mean we should avoid speaking about it completely.
Several years ago, I lost someone to suicide. His name was Dejah. Dejah was one of the sweetest boys I knew in middle school. He used to tell jokes that weren't always funny but I laughed anyway. Every time I saw him, he had the biggest smile on his face. For so long, I couldn't understand how someone like him could even think of taking a drastic measure as he did.
After I've had the time to reflect, I realized that my brain didn't fully analyze the memories I had of him. But before Dejah transferred schools, a lot of people used to tease him. While I was genuinely laughing at the jokes Dejah told, others were laughing at him. People were making fun of his weight on a daily basis and now I can't help but ask myself "why didn't I say anything?"
I wish I would have said something. Anything. Because maybe that would have made a difference but it's too late now for my friend but it doesn't have to be for someone else.
Everyone has a part to play.
School educational systems are failing students because they are not properly informed about suicide. Suicide has been a word that many people don't like to talk about but affects people all over the globe daily. Parents, need to check on their children as frequently as possible. Perhaps if children were more encouraged to speak on their feelings, they would come to the realization that they are not alone. It's also important for parents to understand the warning signs of suicide.
Teen Suicide Pervention
Teenagers are more susceptible to committing suicide because they experience stronger feelings of stress, confusion, self-doubt, the pressure to succeed, financial uncertainty, and other fears while growing up. If you notice any behavior that may seem erratic for your friend, daughter or son, tell someone or go to a doctor. Don't wait until it's too late. Losing someone that you love, whether it's a family member or friend is a pain that I wouldn't wish on anyone.
If we become more aware of the warning signs, then we can prevent an individual from taking their life. You can prevent teen suicide. You can make a difference.