Counselor shares suicide concerns | Shelbyville Times-Gazette

By DAWN HANKINS – [email protected]

This is the first in a series of articles on the increasing number of suicides. Teenage suicide statistics are alarming, a counselor reveals. Bullying usually comes to the surface when the subject is discussed.

How does a community, especially a school, recover from suicidal death of its own, especially if it is a teenager?

As Facebook recently revealed, there is generally a wave of concern about what event or events drove a local student to suicide.

The local community has poured its hearts out to a family here who is going through this grief.

According to Jan Lamb, advisor to the branch advice center, the community needs to “talk about it”. In the case of school, she advises asking the children how they are, as well as the administration and teachers.

“Give them a safe space, no room for judgment, to express their feelings,” says Lamb.

She advises parents that if they feel that their child or someone else is having trouble and is not speaking they should be encouraged to write down their feelings.

“This can be in the form of a letter, an essay, a diary or another expression of your feelings. Finally educate! ”

Lamb mentions the Jason Foundation as an excellent resource and even has an app called A Friend Asks.

She says it is an excellent way to help children and teenagers get answers and help friends.

“I can’t say enough about the importance of education for everyone,” said Lamb, who runs a counseling office in the East Depot of the First Baptist Church.

“There are so many misconceptions about suicide that circulate.” From her office, she unfortunately sees how suicide has become more common in recent years.

“If you think about it, today’s kids can’t escape bullying – even if they go home! Social media is the worst culprit for this problem. ”

And the quarantine hasn’t helped lately.

“However, we are seeing more and more children and adolescents suffering from anxiety and depression due to the quarantine. The statistics for this age group have skyrocketed [young teens.] In addition to communicating after a suicide incident, Lamb advises on how memorials can close.

“Allow the friends to talk or write and share about their friend.”

She notes that suicide is often downplayed in society. As a counselor, this worries you more. “Keep an eye on each other for warning signs. Don’t think that someone is seeking attention just for expressing suicidal thoughts! Always take it seriously. ”

Bullying Lamb adds, “Children can kill themselves for many reasons. Bullying is one of the main reasons. What we as adults see as something that doesn’t matter in the long run can be huge for this child and push them over the edge.

The pressures children face today, and the fact that they cannot escape their bully if they have social media or even a phone, play a huge role in suicide.

Imagine being bombarded with negativity all the time. Some children even experience bullying at home by siblings or relatives.

Talk to your children and find out what they are doing at school and wherever they are going. ”

When it comes to bullying, Lamb says, for obvious reasons, he or she can “definitely” drive a child to the verge of suicide.

“Put yourself in their shoes. Even if you’re not prone to depression, constant bullying is terrible. If you already have low self-esteem, low self-image, and no support that tells you you are loved, valued, and a gift from God, imagine what that does to a child who is already feeling alone! ” Lamb says she has a great passion for educating the community on this topic.

How society can help

How can we as a society better respond to those who suffer?

“Watch out for depression in your fellow human beings. They will tell you they are fine if you ask. You have to be persistent and deliberate to get a real answer. Look for feelings of sadness, withdrawal and isolation from others, outbursts of anger, and even suicide. If someone tells you they are suicidal, NEVER ignore them. Take them to the nearest emergency room or call 911. Don’t leave them alone. ”

Lamb points out that a “silent warning sign” includes giving away valuable possessions.

The most important thing is that adults and children know what to do if they feel that a friend or fellow student is suicidal or depressed, says the counselor.

“Educate yourself by going to the Jason Foundation. com. ”

According to the foundation, suicide is a leading cause of preventable death in the nation today. It is estimated that the nation is losing an average of more than 125 young people each week to this tragedy, which can be prevented.

The Jason Foundation, Inc. believes that education is key to prevention. Those who started the non-profit may understand each other better than anyone about suicide.

A letter from “Jason’s” father

Dear friend,

Jason was my youngest son. He was an average 16 year old. He mostly had B’s on his report card and he loved sports, especially soccer. He was active in his youth group and had many friends. Jason was the one who was always ready to go to places and try new things. It looks like my son loved life.

But on July 16, 1997 everything changed. My son Jason became a statistic of the “silent epidemic” of juvenile suicide.

As I tried to come to terms with what had happened, I began researching youth suicides. The statistics are very alarming.

Did you know that an average of over 100 young people are victims of juvenile suicide this week? Teenage suicide can be prevented, and that is what the Jason Foundation is all about. I urge you to get involved. Together we can help stop this epidemic. Request our material. Read it. Then share it with your friends, family and others. Please help us to reach injured youth with another choice. I will never hug my son again.

But I can and will work with you … maybe to save your friend, your neighbor’s child, a relative, or even your own son or daughter.

It can happen to anyone

Several years ago, Lamb presented the Jason Foundation information to a local middle school.

“There was no class to which I presented the information that had not been touched in some way by suicide. Don’t assume that nothing can happen to you, your family or your friends. “

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