Day 161 (of 185) the hardest thing to respond/prepare for: suicide #blog4MH
It always seems to be a catch-22: if we talk about suicide, it puts the idea in their head…if we don’t talk about it there is no thinking about it until it happens.
And with mental health, suicide is something that needs to be talked about. And I freely admit, I don’t have the insights needed to be anywhere close to an expert (nor consultant!) on this topic. But I know I have lost too many friends to “accidents” and intentional decisions. Many more have ‘come close’ and too many have done some serious consideration about it.
Men. Women. Boys. Girls. I’ve had connections to suicide impacting virtually every age group……and when shows like Netflix’s “13 reasons why” are lambasted for the way they approach the topic, I freely take a pause because at least they are trying an approach (and I admit as of writing this blog I have not had the time to watch it)
But I wasn’t going to blog about this topic today. I had another topic in mind, but much like life, the unplanned happens. And we are reacting to a suicide attempt. Something our counsellors and principals/vice principals are getting a little too good at.
But my feeling is clear: because we are talking more about mental health, self regulation, and keeping more students connected to schools, we don’t brush off some deaths as “unfortunate accidents” as we have in the past. And acknowledging mental wellness as something that only the most extreme would do.
The list of celebrities is way too long. The number of athletes, students, …… etc is way too long.
And not talking about it has not been helping. But I know I won’t…I can’t dismiss even a suicidal ideation as ‘a phase’. I will always ensure that they know they have someone at school who cares and is thinking about them. Positive healthy relationships I think are still the key ‘prevention’ tool – but I also know of too many situations where the statement is “why did they do it, they had so much to live for and so many who care about them” – and that wasn’t enough.
Not sure what to do different, but we need to. And unfortunately, “we” are prepared for Monday…..but could “we” have done something earlier…..