The Dragonfly Forest

They have been given names such as devil’s darning needle, ear sewer, horse stinger, skeeter hawk, and the snake’s servant. Actually, Dragonflies are beneficial, peaceful, and stunning. You are a Dragonfly if you are: ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, dysgraphic, Asperger’s, NLVD, autistic…

Monday, September 10, 2018

What to do about Suicide

Today is the start of Suicide Prevention Week 2018.  I am sharing a past post from August 14, 2016.  Both today in 2018 and in 2016 I could write almost the exact same words as I did on May 18, 2014.  Depression and anxiety are real, and we are not doing enough to help people who battle with mental health concerns.  Over these past few years, there have been many stories about children killing themselves.  In my children's own school district there were a few suicides last year and many students with suicidal ideation.  This has to stop.  Adults must keep our children emotionally safe.

Here are the past posts...

From August 14, 2016:
I was thinking about writing something positive and motivating for a Spiritual Sunday post because I've been so busy with work I have not been able to post as often as I want.  Instead, I saw a post about a young boy who committed suicide... again.  He wrote in a note that he was bullied and teachers didn't help. Here's that article: "'I gave up:' 13 - Year-Old boy commits suicide after he claims school 'Didn't do anything' to stop his bullies." 

This breaks my heart!  I just don't understand how the adult who has the power to make life better for children do not step in and really make a difference.  Sometimes adults are the bullies as well.  My biggest concern about this article is it seems the child failed his grade in school.  I see this way too often - students getting failing grades and adults at the school do nothing but let the child fail.  The student is the one blamed for the failure.  This makes me so angry because adults have the power to step in and work on figuring out WHY the student is failing. I will write more on this topic but in the meantime here's the I wrote in May 2014~~

From May 18, 2014:
I woke up today thinking about what I wanted to share on Spiritual Sunday.  It has been a while since I posted a Spiritual Sunday because I've been struggling spiritually.  I just can't seem to understand why people lack empathy. Now, I wake up to read an article in the Columbus Dispatch newspaper about a teenage girl committing suicide and bullying was reported as one of the factors.  Here is the article: Pickerington teen's suicide raises concern: How much was bullying to blame?

My heart is breaking.  I did not know this girl, but I know her pain.  I have felt this pain many times myself.  I work with people who feel this pain or have felt this pain in their past. I wrote about Bullying and Suicide originally on November 19, 2013, after another teen suicide.  I have been making a plea to educators to STOP teaching "Anti-Bullying" programs and start teaching EMPATHY!   What we focus on we expand so if we are focused on bullying we will get bullying if we concentrate on empathy we will get empathy!  I wrote Empathy is the Antidote to Bullying on January 29, 2013, in hopes that we can start making this change.  I'm saddened that we now have lost another unique and beautiful person to suicide. 

Many people struggle with empathy when it comes to a person's depression and/or suicidal ideations.  These topics make people uncomfortable and often the person feeling these ways stays silent, puts a smile on their face, and suffers alone.  They know that no one will really understand or the other person will minimize their feelings.  People need to realize that the person often doesn't really want to die they want the pain to end.  When other's show empathy the pain can stop!!!

(Image: picture of a black & blue dragonfly & quote from Orson Scott Card's book 'Ender's Shadow' - "In my view, suicide is not really a wish for life to end.'  'What is it then?'  'I is the only way a powerless person can find to make everybody else look away from his shame. The wish is not to die, but to hide.")

So what can you do about suicide?  You can start paying attention to those around you.  You can start showing REAL empathy.  Know the difference between empathy & sympathy- here's a quick video to help you understand this: 

Remember that you do have the power to make the difference in someone else's life.  You can prevent a person from committing suicide, and you may never know that you did because the person will not tell you they wanted to escape this pain (world).  Often people, like this recent teen, Cora Delille, didn't share her pain overtly with family and friends.  She kept most of her pain silent, but if others have empathy, they will see that she is struggling with something and reach out to her.  If covert bullying (relational aggression) was happening in school then teachers need to be more diligent by watching students interact- there are signs of relational aggression (name calling, excluding, teasing, avoidance behaviors, mean looks...).  If administrators know that a teacher and/or coach is treating a child unfairly and emotionally damaging the child they need to protect the child.  Adults have the power to make positive changes and save the lives of children.
(Image: a silhouette picture of a person sitting holding their knees with their head down and a quote titled 'Be a friend save a life' - "Suicidal thoughts happen when pain exceeds the amount of resources needed for coping. Family and friends are often unaware of the suicidal ideations. If a loved one is depressed or under a great deal of stress, be a resource. Listen to his/her worries, stressors, and fears.  Make no judgments.  Just listen and provide support.") 

Please start paying attention to those around you (especially if they are a student who has learning disabilities - see picture below)! Practice empathy on a daily basis.  Let's teach all our children to be emphatic so they will be kinder to one another.  Please pass this on to help save the life of someone in pain.  Finally, remember I really do care about the lives of everyone and always here.  If you are in pain, know you are not alone!

Here's a link to a recent post about Asking for Help.  This is another critical post for parents!

(Image: student sitting at a computer desk with books in front of him and he is holding his head in his hands looking down as if defeated and a quote from Stephanie Sergent Daniel's article 'Reading Disabilities Put Students at Risk for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors and Dropping Out of School' - "In our study, poor readers were three times more likely than typical readers to consider or attempt suicide ant six times more likely to drop out of school.  Educators and parents should be aware of the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adolescents with reading problems.")

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