Let’s deal with suicide openly

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 31, 2010

Through teenage eyes the world can be small and cruel. Often the worst enemies for teens are either their own self-criticism or their overreaction to the criticism of others.

For thousands of American teens, sadly, the only visible way of solving the problem, ending the pain or freeing themselves from the criticism is suicide.

For adults seeing this, especially in hindsight, can be difficult.

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With a few decades of distance between our high school days, it’s difficult to remember just how focused we were on our own faults — real or perceived — and on what others thought of us. We’ve also forgotten how quickly teens react to the actions of others, seeing the world as out to get them.

Suicide is easily among the most taboo of subjects that our community faces.

It’s the word that’s whispered after someone takes his own life.

But suicide should not be something that’s secretive.

We need to talk about it and understand the factors that may drive someone to consider it and ultimately go through with it.

Education — for parents, teachers and the teens themselves — is key to preventing more lives from being ripped apart by suicide.

Communication is the ultimate answer. Do you know what emotions your teen is feeling today?