National Suicide Prevention Week

10 Sep

Today, September 10th, is World Suicide Prevention Day. This is National Suicide Prevention Week. For those who would like to view an article about an organization that provides 24-7 helpline assistance to lgbt troubled or questioning youth, go to:

It seems that the rate of youth suicides is growing at an alarming rate.  Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people aged 15-24 and suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among college students.

For an excellent resource on how to spot and prevent teen suicide, see

One thing is for sure, the road out of these shocking statistics is NOT to mass medicate our youth. For years Psychiatrists and other unwitting health professionals have been using prescription drugs as a means of managing young people’s physical, mental and emotional challenges. (Of course, they tend to do this with adults as well).

A child or teen today stands as good a chance to attempt suicide as a result of the influence of prescribed medications they are on for behavioral or other “problems” as they are for what they might perceive as over-whelming conditions, experiences, emotions or other factors in their lives.

Some suicides occur as the result of drug abuse (and I include alcohol here as a drug). But the far greater danger is from what we are pumping into our kids in the name of “treating” them.

Before we start stuffing “therapeutic” drugs into our kids, we need to exercize all other possible options. Listening, talking, giving them opportunities to vent and share are essential. Treating them as responsible people is also recommended. Giving them opportunities to be productive contributing members of the family will give them a solid foundation for the rest of their lives. It also affords them dignity and self-respect.

Let’s also remember that suicide is a call for help. If we spend time with our family members and friends and take the time to truly know what’s going on with them and what they are thinking and feeling, that is the best suicide prevention around.

Reaching out to someone else, sharing a little kindness, can go a long way to help someone through a tough moment.

You never know. Just thinking enough about someone to hold a door open for them might just be a kindness, a glimmer of respect that they don’t get anywhere else, that would be enough to give them pause to think, “maybe I am worthy.”

Investing ourselves in others has enormous paybacks as well. Want mental health? Try interacting with the people around you, instead of viewing them as stealing your precious time. If we are active and celebrating life through gratitude and service, there is no space to contemplate “ending it.”

Recovering addicts know the formula. Feel like using?  Go find another recovering person and help them. Works every time. -Deb Adler

©2008 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved.

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