I am Alive
Before my teen had her own smartphone, she downloaded an Instagram account on my phone. Being said owner of phone came with privileges: some might call them stalking rights. Occasionally, when boredom set in; in the carpool line, waiting at ballet, etc., I would scroll through Instagram. I learned a lot about the world of today’s teens. While a lot of it is good clean fun for some kids, for others it can be a superficial, sad, scary place to be.
One day I came upon a post. Written in the snow, by an acquaintance of my daughters, was a single statement: “I am Alive”. Over a course of time, I had seen a number of pictures of this beautiful, talented, artsy, blue, haired girl. This one was different. The statement, “I am alive” was commemorating the one year anniversary of the date that she had picked to commit suicide. Fortunately, she had changed her mind and on this day, chose to share this with the world. I wept in disbelief and I tried to image what could be so terrible that a senior at the most prestigious, fine arts high school in the state could contemplate suicide.
Several months later, following the suicide of a teen, who was a classmate of a friends child, I called own my children’s high school. I had seen increasingly disturbing post by a troubled young man. All the tell-tell signs were there and I was concerned about his mental health and physical well-being. Occasionally I see this kid at school. He has no idea who I am, and I have no idea if what I reported was able to help him or not. What I do know is that; he is alive, and for that I am thankful.
Most likely your teen knows someone who is or has contemplated suicide. Too often teens won’t tell and parents are unware or don’t want to interfere. If in doubt make the call, you may save a life. Today marks the end of Suicide Prevention week, but every middle and high school age child needs to be aware of the dangers, consequences, signs, and most importantly what to do.
If you or someone you know is preparing to end their life, please call: 1 (800) 273-8255. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week, Languages: English, Spanish, Website: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
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