Most young people who commit suicide want a release. Quite often the eulogy for the dead student will wax sentimentality with flowery, loving and misunderstanding words.
Sometimes other students listening to the kind words which no one has ever said about them, wish they could be thought of the same way; instead of the harmful way they perceive it to be presently.
Sometimes a hypnosis-like change takes place in a student who was a good friend of the dead student, a confidant of a tearful friend, or was at a school assembly notification, or was at the funeral of a student who died by suicide.
Sometimes that student will go home and kill themself. Sometimes the same way as the suicide victim did. It can heppen as soon as getting home without even speaking with anyone. Suicide by death - of another.
There is a name for it now. It is recognized. It is something for mental health professionals to be aware of when a student dies by their own hand.
The name is Suicide Contagion. An article from the CBC here references the study. Don't let the numbers and words never heard before throw you off. The study appears to be for peers. On the other hand, the CBC article breaks it down very well.
The gist is - a theory of more student suicides and attempted suicides after a student commits suicide is less a theory now and more of a not well understood, but accepted, condition. Enough to raise alarms and suggest different approaches for student mental health support following a death incident. The younger the kids, the more vulnerable.
We must see all of you students now, ask the questions, reassure that confidential help is ready and most important, that trust is assured. Permissions from the student should be gained before the session starts.
I didn't see anything mentioned about student depression vulnerability regarding an accidental death of a student. However I suspect there is a connection there as well.
We don't want you to die, our students, our kids.
We want you to live and overcome depression and enjoy more happiness again. There are new ways to help. But we need to know you want/need help before the final decision or fatal feeling is made or felt.
To your health...
Cheers - Mike
The legacy for Jamie Hubley, a gay teen who killed himself in 2011 for a number of reasons including bullying at his high school, is getting closer to reality.
The federal government is giving 250,000 dollars to the Canadian Red Cross to have 2400 kids trained to deliver anti-bullying workshops.
Here is the story:
This link is similar but more into the politics:
Jamie Hubley's father, Allan, put it all into perspective in a very personal way.
Here is the family's story which appeared on CBC news last October:
Jamie Hubley's family continues fight against suicide
"With all due respect, I think we have enough studies, I think we have a definition on bullying … our governments have a lot of information available to them on bullying," Hubley said. "I don't think we need more information. … We can't wait a year for action. What we need is action now. If there's money available we should find a way to get that into the frontline troops," including the Youth Services Bureau.
"We can't rely on parents to be able to watch their children every moment of the day, we can't rely on teachers to be the only ones policing the hallways of the schools and the washrooms, and you can't always have your best friend beside you," he said.
"You have a kid in crisis, you don't want to wait six hours. You want help now."
"Do something yourself to stop bullying. Don't wait for someone else to step up and do it...."
He is trying so hard to change attitudes because his son is dead. He would just like to have his son back again. Perhaps, with his impetus, another son or daughter will be saved. We all very much hope so.
Please be nice to each other - we all need it...
Cheers - Mike
Do you ever wonder why some kids can get along and other cannot?
One of the things which struck me when I read the following article and the accompanying picture, was the total absence of distracting clothing or adornments.
Here are two boys in high school, who are helpful, popular - and gay.
What is the secret here? I believe that once you read the article and look at the two boys, you will understand. The appear like all the other kids. Go figure :)
Voted "cutest couple" for the high school yearbook, here is an excerpt from the article:
"We've never had any problems at all," added 17-year-old senior Brad Taylor. "As a matter of fact, before the results, people were telling us ahead of time, `You guys are going to win hands down."'
The gay couple's selection -- a first at Carmel High -- has become an online sensation, driven by a yearbook photo of the smiling boys in a close embrace. A friend's blog with the photo had more than 110,000 hits Monday, and it was cited in stories on several major news sites.
So, it can happen - without laws, haranguing, beleaguering, harassment - tolerance and acceptance seem to be the keys here as well as the boys themselves.
This is an example for other schools and jurisdictions.
A great story and a happy ending.
And I do like happy endings...
Cheers - Mike
I've seen the dead eyes of kids and adults who have been killed emotionally. Their physical person is alive, existing. But emotionally - they are dead.
How did it happen? Well, for many very young girls and boys, being raped and not getting the mental help needed to overcome the incredible emotional damage. For others, the same emotional damage over and over again. Sometimes it is physical damage before birth. For others, losing all hope. No hope.
Can you survive without hope? Yes, without feeling. You could hurt or kill someone and not feel a thing, not care at all. It would be like an object which has no meaning to you.
Meaning - there isn't any. Existence only.
People with dead eyes are very few and far between. Kids with dead eyes are heart-breaking.
Caregivers - parents - get help for the kids before it is too late and they die inside.
Kids - you need help - you know you do - call the Help Phone 1-800-668-6868.
To life - To meaning - To feeling...!
Cheers - Mike
If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time and are taken as a hostage, fear and resultant mental shutdown, or paralysis, can occur.
You haven't lived long enough to experience a full life but you've already lived long enough to experience death.
In a strange twist of fate, an American university student was killed when the officer trying to resolve a hostage stand-off killed her, as well as the hostage-taker.
The story on Fox news is here: Officer's split-second choice ended with Hofstra student, suspect dead after home-invasion
Apparently, according to the article, the student was being held in a head-lock. An officer looking at a target would have a clear head shot. Training for center of mass wouldn't apply this time. Confidence in accuracy would be paramount. Apparently eight shots were fired. To me, that sounds like panic. A double-tap to the head would have sufficed.
However, we are looking at student survival. You are already a victim in this case. Let's try to make it temporary and come out of it alive and well.
So, what to do in this case while you are in a one-handed head-lock? Resolve panic. Think, you may die, and be done with that thought. Give yourself a chance when an opportunity presents itself. When the officer and hostage-taker aimed at each other, that is when to do the unexpected. Feign a faint. Drop as if you fainted and now the sudden weight will throw the hostage-taker off balance and let you go. As well, the effect opens up more of his body as a target. The hostage-taker may decide to shoot you for fainting and ruining his plan. Are you willing to take that chance?
There is no perfect world, or perfect plan. However it would be helpful for your survival, that you do something to help yourself survive if the opportunity presents itself. Once the panic is dealt with, resourcefulness can take over.
There is no easy solution sometimes. We can armchair quarterback all we want, but cannot change what is past. We can only learn from the past.
Perhaps, it was her time. But perhaps not for the next person in similar circumstances.
Hopefully you will be a survivor.
To quote the Vulcan greeting, "Live long and prosper"
Cheers - Mike
PS: There are passive and active techniques to make someone let you go. The story above isn't a training tutorial. It is to open your eyes to possibilities for surviving an incredibly mind-numbing, out-of-your-control sudden situation.
Anti-Social vigilante backlash is killing and ruining young lives. Do we hear about the ruined lives after being exploited on the internet? After the truth comes out? No. In almost all cases, there are no apologies. In one case mentioned below a boy died after being falsely accused by attackers using internet "social" media.
Social networking is really anti-social networking when used for the wrong purposes.
The vigilante mindset, which includes the "I want to be first to accuse or out someone" syndrome, is rampant. And, apparently the perpetrators don't learn from one incident to the next.
I say it again. Some kids die because of it. Others have their lives ruined. Usually nobody talks about them or their families - the innocents, the falsely accused.
The internet has given rise to instant power for people who shouldn't have it at all. They are not mature enough to use it wisely.
Let's look at some very high profile cases of teen sex, bullying and suicide. And most of all, who to blame.
Amanda Todd in British Columbia killed herself. My blogs about this sad event which should not have happened are here, here and here. The vigilantes named a young person as the person who had the influence over her, that is, was blackmailing her. He was innocent. But he received death threats and nasty internet attention. The police were methodically investigating the case so as to charge the right person if charges were deemed appropriate and if charges were seen to have a chance of successful prosecution in court. But the police were not fast enough for the internet trolls who just wanted to cause hurt to whomever "they" thought "had to be" guilty.
Of course the bullying is perpetuated by other students or trolls to begin with.
The next case is that of Rehtaeh Parsons. Blaming the kids (one-sided story) and going public. Ok, now the vigilantes step in, with a passion. The boys are identified. Four boys, according to the mother.
And finally, the truth comes out, although a mess. It was consensual - not rape. And it wasn't four boys. One of the four "identified" boys apparently wasn't even there that night. The boys, without benefit of a trial, now have to defend themselves from the very people who would go after anyone without knowing anything about the case. The accusers want their little bit of fame and whether or not the accused are innocent doesn't seem to matter to these people at all. The world is much more cruel now than ever before. We need the truth, not supposition.
The parents and family members apparently didn't want to know that their daughter/grand-daughter was a normal teenager with hormones and perhaps not the angel they perceived her to be. When the "other side" of the story started appearing, they refused to believe it. They tore down the "two sides to every story" posters that were put up. I wonder though, was guilt about not saving her daughter in the bathroom the real push for revenge? Because, in my opinion, this was a revenge act. In no way, shape or form am I making light of a child's death. That is one of the worst things that can ever happen. No, I just believe revenge is not justice. Most of all, the politicians were sucked in. The premier of Nova Scotia made comments and suggested legislation, based on one side of the story. Even Prime Minister Harper was caught up.
Politicians should know better. Perhaps caught up in the "hate, blame someone frenzy"?
In California, a story around Audrie Pott who committed suicide.
This case actually looks legitimate. But the other side of the story "MUST" be heard!
Marjorie Raymond in Quebec
Bullying - Student and Adult - Sorrow and Death in the News
Jamie Hubley in Ontario
Bullying in Ontario - Apples and Oranges
After the Boston bombing (where 20,000 runners, family and supporters were trying to use cell phones at the same time and over-powered the cellular network system) the arm-chair know-it-alls started accusing people of being the bomber. It did not take long for the police to surmise it was more than one person. The police investigation was fast, accurate and thorough. They wanted to get the right perpetrators. However the Reddit vigilantes named someone they thought was the culprit. This particular boy, Sunil Tripathi, was found dead in a river after leaving his effects and a note behind. He had disappeared the same day he was named. I suppose the folks using Reddit are happy they are responsible for the death of an innocent person. They seemed happy to name him.
One-way thinking. How many more deaths will there be and how many more innocent kids accused, because of these internet-ready social media abusers. They are the biggest bullies of all.
Nice going. Basically, in my opinion, the Reddit and Twitter users killed this boy.
Why did this happen? Don't let it happen again!
What to do if cyber-bullying finds you as a victim. It is an article about a new support website for sexting issues and, well, see for yourself here.
Those intimate pictures were established through a trust relationship. Don't pass them around. Don't use them to show off. Teens are teens. Don't be malicious to each other.
Have fun, oh yes, and joke around, sure, but don't let it become malicious. Then it's mean, low, cowardly and bullying.
Ban social media
background check before allowed to use social media
Class smart phones as weapons
Don't give weapons to 5 year olds, or teens or adults who act like 5 year olds
Create amazing legislation - not really - dull, workable legislation already exists - we need an educational response/solution/thought/action/consideration/consultation
Actually promote healthy relationships at school
Google, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, et al should promote good citizenship on the net
Add you own suggestions
Part of the problem is kids not "fitting in". Yet they want to.
Kids - Trying to Fit In
I, and many others, have covered how kids can get "well" again by getting their confidence back and feeling better about themselves.
Student Mind Restart for Depression Sickness
I've talked about kids who believe the only way out or solution is to kill themselves.
Kids - Self Termination
Sometimes kids feel they are not wanted anymore.
Kids or Adults: Broken and not wanted anymore
Sometimes people bully to get revenge.
Child Bullying for Revenge
It has been said that suicide is not to end life, but to end pain. This article may help you understand that others have gone before you and felt the black despair as well.
Teen Suicide - Not Sharing the Pain
The only person who can possibly help you in your depression, is the responsible, caring, thoughtful, experienced, listening person you tell. Share the pain. It actually does help, more than you would think.
Remember: Kids Help Phone - 800-668-6868
Waiting out a sudden black depression - important! Also called Impulse.
A Teenager: Almost Gone
Impulse (sudden) Suicide - please read - the feeling passes quickly.
More on Impulse Suicide Attempts
Do anti-bullying laws work?
Bullying Backlash: More laws beget more bullying
Please be considerate with and to each other. That's all it takes for a better community, school, town, city,,,life...
Try smiling, it's catchy...
Cheers - Mike
You are a kid and have been used and just found out.
shock anger depression disbelief - what to do - humiliation
pain in your stomach - stabbed in the back
you feel (know) that no one cares
words to them - feelings for you
you - them
Perpetrators play too many video games - no connection with pain and suffering - at all. Think before talking - think about the possible outcome.
What are the words that can destroy you? Whether you are a girl or boy it only takes one sentence.
One sentence - 20 seconds - a life destroyed
No one is as tough as they, or you, believe.
Most victims are from middle-class families and have been protected as much as possible. They do not know what to do, or how to act. They are lost and afraid.
You are hurt. You are as a wounded animal. Other animals will feel it, know it, and hunt you down, play with you and drive you to panic. Then they attack. It was just teasing before. When the attack comes you are defenseless because they have worn you down.
You must have trusted support to survive. Or, you must have no more animals preying on you.
You must not be the victim any longer. Healing can then begin - and it takes time.
You know your death can end the pain - the thoughts in your head. But it is a little too permanent. You feel that the next day could be a lot better (because you still have HOPE!). Get just one person as your true friend and start the fight back. Your reputation? Respect will help you gain it back. Do a speech at a school assembly. Let everyone know how bad it feels and what you are going through. Look your peers in the eyes - show fear no more, show compassion instead. Why? I have seen young teens recover from strong hurt (spent a little time in hospital getting their head back on straight) and go into a very hard shell of not showing any emotion at all. Ever. They are nice and polite. They have purpose and carry out plans. They do not allow themselves to feel.
You need to find the middle ground again. To feel is good. To feel bad is not good, but usually the good far out-weighs the bad.
So there is no easy answer. Suicide is very quick and final. Living to win again will take more time and the long term enjoyment and happiness will be so good. It can be done. Will the memories go away? No, but the memories will dull. They won't have the impact you feel right now. You will learn, hopefully, a coping strategy for dealing with remembering what you don't want to dwell upon. One person I know well says to himself, " no, not anymore", and fills his mind with not that and switching to a good experience and memory. It works pretty well all the time for him.
My only wish for all the hurt children is that they recover, become strong again, can smile again and can look you in the eyes.
Cheers - Mike