Provided by Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
"Making life better"
According the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, most parents do NOT realize their extent of their child's depression. Although substance abuse and depression are major factors in adolescent suicide, most parents tended to underestimate the extent of their child's depression and alcohol abuse. To read their Facts for Families page on Teen Suicide, click here.
TRUER WORDS WERE SELDOM SPOKEN... than by Brian O'Reilly (Fortune, January, 1990, "Why grade 'A' execs get an 'F' as parents") who commented that the most important thing a parent can do for a child is to encourage a high sense of self-esteem, and that this is much easier said than done.
The main reaction I have to news of someone's suicide, and it is news that is heard shockingly often, is how sad it is that people could believe that the best thing that could happen for the world, their families and themselves is that they not be in it. How little faith and pride can you have in your contribution to the world to believe that? How much things must have gone wrong in your young life to believe that your mother, your friends and people you would meet if you had lived would all be better off if you were dead! Yes, it reflects a low estimation of your own value in a very extreme way.
At this point in courses like this it is sort of traditional to give some statistics on the increase in adolescent suicide and follow that up with a multiple choice question on a quiz about whether it has doubled, tripled or increased by 50% in the past few decades. As a matter of fact, it has tripled, but you won't find me asking any questions about that. I think those sorts of questions trivialize the not at all trivial fact that OUR CHILDREN ARE DYING!
Last week, one of my daughter's close friends committed suicide. He was a senior in high school. He had friends. He was going to graduate from school this year. He had some problems, but nothing really extraordinary - and who doesn't have problems? And then he was dead.
WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE
WARNING SIGN OF SUICIDE # 1 -- PREVIOUS SUICIDE ATTEMPTS
WARNING SIGN OF SUICIDE # 2 -- PARENTAL ALCOHOL ABUSE 30-40% of adolescents who attempt suicide are children of parents who abuse alcohol
(Above statistics according to the 1989 Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide, Department of Health & Human Services)
WARNING SIGN OF SUICIDE # 3 - ADOLESCENT SUBSTANCE ABUSE
WARNING SIGN OF SUICIDE # 4 - DEPRESSION
WARNING SIGN OF SUICIDE #5 - SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN BEHAVIOR
Two points to remember:
Are you nervous yet? I don't have to tell you, because
you know, and I know, that the rate of suicide among Native Americans,
including on the Spirit Lake Reservation, is heartbreakingly too
high. I mean the word heartbreaking in a very literal sense. After my daughter
and her friends crying for a week, and them going out to where the young
man died and setting up an altar (it is a Latino tradition), attending
the wake, all the funeral preparations, and the funeral, I found myself
thinking, "Now, finally, things will get back to normal!' Then it hit me
that, for his mother, things will never really be back to normal.
Well, I could go on about these issues forever, but I realize that you do not have infinite amounts of time. So, that leaves you with choices.
Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. -- P.O.Box 663, 314 Circle Dr., Fort Totten, ND 58335 Tel: (701) 351-2175 Fax: (800) 905 -2571
Email us at: Info@SpiritLakeConsulting.com
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