Facing an ignored problem

Count to forty…

Someone has just killed himself.

Count again, and another life has been lost.

Suicide has become the unspoken death, a worldwide whisper of hopelessness.

Suicide is among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 years in some countries, according to the World Health Organization, and the second leading cause of death in the 10-24 years age group; these figures, including the 40-second figure, do not include suicide attempts, which are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicide.

Another 40 seconds just passed as you read this…

The most shocking aspect of all of this is that there are people out there ignorant enough to make a joke about it. Suicidal tendencies and self-inflicted pain have become a required initiation into the world of the outcast. Now, in order to avoid the “popular group” and reject a conformist society, you must conform to their ways of rebellion. Think about this: in order to not conform, you conform. Those who talk about cutting as a cool pastime and those who promote it need to be silenced.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying everyone who cuts is doing it to show off or look like a rebel. I know very well that there are many people who are lost in the shadows of their lives and need something to prove to them that they still exist. Though cutting or burning is not the way to do this, at least they’re not doing it to fit into a group that “doesn’t want to fit in.”

Suicide is not something we can ignore. It’s not something that should be swept under the rug by every cookie-cutter society so as to avoid being looked down upon. Suicide and depression are right there, hidden though still visible, in the corners of our lives. Especially as teenagers, we hear about it every day.

Another 40 seconds just passed as you read this…

One of the hardest aspects about trying to help someone who is suicidal is figuring out how to go about it. There are two basic ways: the help and the kick.

Help is the strategy we always hear about. Talk to them. Don’t tell them they’re being stupid, just listen. Most people turn to suicide not because they are weak or craving attention, but because they are desperate and feel alone.

The kick is, as it sounds, kicking them in the you-know-where to get them to snap out of their downward cycle and see that what they’re doing is terribly unhealthy and that there’s a way out. As a general rule, never use this if you do not know this person very well. A kick is a delicate thing, and if used in the wrong way on the wrong person, it will only make things worse.


In our community right now, at least 5-10 percent of people are facing depression.

Another 40 seconds just passed.


If you want to talk:

National Hopeline Network (U.S.A.) – www.hopeline.com – 1-800-SUICIDE
S.A.F.E. Alternatives – www.selfinjury.com – Self Abuse Finally Ends
Childhelp – www.childhelp.org – 1-800-4-A-CHILD – National Child Abuse Hotline
National Domestic Violence Helpline – www.ndvh.org – 1-800-799-SAFE
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network – www.rainn.org – 1-800-656-HOPE National Sexual Assault Hotline They need someone to talk to, and you can be that person.
The Trevor Helpline is the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. All calls are confidential and toll-free from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)


If you want treatment:

American Psychological Association – locator.apa.org – counseling services locator
AAMFT – www.therapistlocator.net – counseling services locator
Befrienders Worldwide – www.befrienders.org – treatment and counseling services locator
SAMHSA – findtreatment.samhsa.gov – substance abuse treatment center locator
SAMHSA – mentalhealth.samhsa.gov – mental health services locator
AACC – www.aacc.net – Christian counseling services locator